Wednesday, August 5, 2009

States get the grants for building the nation wide map of broadband

Previously on this web log we talked about the $350 million grant for developing a national broadband map. The National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) has published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the broadband map on July 2nd. Based on the NOFA the states or their designated organizations are eligible for the grant.

Each state is supposed to provide structured and searchable data to NTIA and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) that indicates availability of broadband at address level. The data should contain the advertised and "actual expected" speed of broadband service as well as the average per user revenue (ARPU) for the service. It is also expected that the data includes the technologies used for delivering broadband. If the exploited technology is wireless, the data should express the utilized spectrum.

The applications for the grant are going to be reviewed by a panel of at least three expert/peer reviewers. One of the criteria for the evaluation is the provisions for repeated data updating. It is recommended that the applicants demonstrate a workable and sustainable framework for repeated updating of data for at least five years.

NTIA and FCC will make the below data available to the public:
1) Geographic areas in which broadband service is available

2) The technologies used to provide broadband service in such areas

3) The speeds at which broadband service is available in such areas

4) Broadband service availability at public buildings like schools and hospitals

I personally cannot wait to get access to this data. I hope this map will be up and running by the statutorily mandated date for public posting of the National Broadband Map which is February 2011!