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Newly Released Maps of Federally Defined Rural and Remote Areas Will Augment Broadband Stimulus Applications in Texas, Michigan, Puerto Rico and West Virginia Washington, DC: Connected Nation, using ArcGIS technology in partnership with ESRI, has released more statewide maps of rural and remote areas in three states and one U.S. territory to support applications for broadband infrastructure funds now available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The maps of rural and remote areas are now available for Texas, Michigan, Puerto Rico and West Virginia. Previously, Connected Nation released similar maps for the states of Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky, along with on-line Census Block level data displayed through interactive broadband maps in Tennessee, Ohio and Minnesota. A nationwide PDF map of rural and remote areas is also available on the Connected Nation website.
The rural maps illustrate which geographic areas are considered rural, remote, and non-rural, according to definitions in the broadband stimulus rules released on July 1 by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS). Applications for broadband infrastructure grants and loans will be measured, in part, based on what percent of the proposed broadband service area is rural and what percent is remote. Currently, approximately $7 billion in stimulus funds have been designated to help expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities across the United States. These funds are available through the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the RUS’s Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).
"These maps and data tools will give state leaders, community advocates, and broadband providers a better understanding of areas eligible for broadband stimulus funds," said Connected Nation’s chief analyst Laura Taylor. "States that are working cooperatively with broadband providers to create maps of broadband availability are at the greatest advantage for maximizing stimulus dollars."
The maps are currently available for download at each of the states’ websites: www.connectedtennessee.org; www.connectohio.org; www.connectmn.org; www.connectnorthcarolina.org; www.connectkansas.org; www.connectkentucky.org; www.connectwestvirginia.org and www.connectednation.org.
To learn more about how Connected Nation can help states, visit www.connectednation.org/policy or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when individuals and communities have the opportunity and desire to connect. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for technology deployment and adoption. Connected Nation works with community stakeholders, states, and technology providers to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered around a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information about Connected Nation, Inc., visit www.connectednation.org.