ADECA unveils Alabama Broadband Map and Connectivity Plan
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Wednesday, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) released the Alabama Broadband Map and Connectivity Plan.
The map will help in determining where state and federal support is needed to bring broadband access to unserved areas, facilitate internet service providers (ISPs) expansion planning efforts and more accurately depict broadband availability.
Governor Kay Ivey praised completion of the map and expressed the importance of expanding broadband across Alabama.
“Broadband is vital infrastructure for Alabama, and this new map gives us the clearest and most accurate picture to date of broadband availability throughout the state,” Gov. Ivey said in a statement. “Expanding access to high-speed internet will help bring more jobs, improve educational opportunities and bolster our economy. I commend ADECA, the internet service providers and all others involved in this mammoth effort to create this valuable new tool that will enhance our efforts to provide broadband services to every corner of Alabama.”
Before the creation of the map, Alabama had to rely solely on federal data. Federal data only required ISPs to deliver broadband service to one address in a census block to claim an entire area. This was problematic because then the state would be ineligible for broadband funding despite many residents not having access.
“ADECA is working with Gov. Ivey, the Legislature and the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority to expand access to the broadband so that Alabamians have access to the tools they need to participate fully in the modern economy,” ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell said in a statement. “We are excited about the creation of this broadband map as it gives new insights to guide these efforts while also providing resources to better inform the public.”
“This map would not have been possible without the participation of internet service providers,” Boswell added. “We thank every internet service provider who participated for their willingness to help us further this vitally important mission.”
According to ADECA’s January 5 release:
The Alabama Broadband Map and website enables other uses, beyond guiding ADECA’s broadband investment. They include:
- The public can research broadband availability and speeds across the state.
- The public can run a speed test and provide information about their current connectivity.
- Elected officials can evaluate broadband accessibility for their constituents.
- ISPs and other organizations can challenge the information on the map, contributing to its accuracy and usefulness.
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