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March 15, 2010

Three States Launch Interactive Maps with BroadbandStat

Illinois, Ohio, and Tennessee Put State Broadband Service Maps Online with Esri's BroadbandStat

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BroadbandStat revealed this unserved neighborhood (yellow circle) in Tennessee, ready for broadband service expansion.

Redlands, California—Illinois, Ohio, and Tennessee residents and businesses now have an easier way to learn about broadband access in their state. All three states have launched BroadbandStat, an application based on Esri geographic information system (GIS) technology, to make viewing broadband data easier. When the maps are complete, visitors to the Connect Ohio, Connect Illinois, or Connected Tennessee Web sites will be able to create maps of where cable, mobile, or DSL broadband is available; show statewide results by Census Block; and zoom in on results all the way to the street address level. Information on each state's demographic data, broadband and Internet adoption rates, and computer ownership rates (when available) can also be mapped.

"Now, business and industry can use this tool for relocation decisions, home buyers can use this while shopping for a home, and government and ECD [Department of Economic and Community Development] can use it for planning purposes," said Daryl Phillips, executive director of the Hickman County, Tennessee, ECD.

BroadbandStat was developed by Esri in conjunction with Connected Nation, a nonprofit corporation and leader in promoting broadband expansion. The application gives states the ability to map information they have gathered from a variety of sources and provide a visual way of exploring the results. For example, the data used to create the Ohio BroadbandStat map is based on information gathered from more than 70 Ohio broadband providers and Connect Ohio's 2008 Residential Technology Assessment.

"The assembly of data from major providers is key to a comprehensive portrait of statewide coverage," said Morton O'Kelly, chair of the Department of Geography at Ohio State University. "As a geographer, I am immediately able to see significant regional contrasts, as well as gain a greater appreciation for the challenges facing providers as they attempt to complete coverage in lower-density rural areas."

States can use the combined data to pinpoint where the expansion of new broadband services will help support local economic development. The data is also a useful resource for policy makers, grant writers, and companies doing broadband investment research. Internet access to the maps gives the public a way to find information about broadband services in their area and give feedback, whether to report observations about the data or comment on their own broadband access and experience.

Twelve U.S. states and the territory of Puerto Rico will be using BroadbandStat to organize their broadband services data and make interactive maps available on the Internet. These activities are supported by more than $20 million in State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program funds that were made available through the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for improving broadband accessibility across the nation.

For links to the Ohio, Illinois, and Tennessee sites and more information on BroadbandStat, visit

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