Posted by: Ann Treacy | January 23, 2016

State Broadband Initiatives (2016): Help me create a better list please!

In the last couple weeks a few people asked me for information on what other states are doing to support/develop/map broadband. I wasn’t able to find a very good list. Several lists were published when ARRA funding still supported many state broadband mapping and support efforts but the ARRA funding ended in 2014 and 2015. Many of those ARRA-supported effort have closed; some are still open. It turns out there’s a wide range of what states are and aren’t doing in regards to broadband.

For the last 24 hours I have done almost nothing but look for state broadband efforts and initiatives. Below – organized in alphabetical order is what I found. I am offering this up as a first draft and asking folks to help make the list better.

So please – let me know if you have better or more information on any (or all!) of the state efforts. I will try to update the document as suggestions are made. Either post a comment below or email me atreacy@treacyinfo.com. Once comments have been made I will try to create a cleaner version of the list – maybe even a spreadsheet to help organize the info. For now I present it in very raw format…

Thanks!!

Alabama
Started an Office of Broadband Development and appointed a Task Force in 2015 http://www.madeinalabama.com/sba-news/office-broadband-development-forms-advisory-board-task-forces/

Alaska
Broadband Goal: By 2020, every Alaskan has 100 mbps broadband connectivity. (100 Mbps down and up)http://www.alaska.edu/files/oit/bbtaskforce/2013-08-AK-Broadband-Task-Force-Report%7CA-Blueprint-for-Alaska’s-Broadband-Future.pdf

Arizona
Digital Arizona closed in 2015 https://digitalarizona.az.gov/

Arkansas
ARKANSAS STATE BROADBAND MANAGER’S REPORT http://www.stc.arkansas.gov/Documents/Broadband%20Manager’s%20Activities-Operations%20Report.pdf In October 2015, state lawmakers announced that, by October 2016, a plan would be prepared to connect every home and business in the state to high-speed broadband Internet. The Joint Committee for Advanced Communications and Information Technology voted to find solutions and develop legislation to fix the problem. Members of the committee have also visited rural communities to learn more about challenges to broadband connectivity.

California [additions posted 1/31/2016]
Broadband and Digital Literacy Office http://www.cio.ca.gov/broadband/ In 2008 the CA Broadband Task Force released a report that included numerous specific recommendations such as: State-Issued Broadband Bonds California Advanced Services Fund (CASF), Tax Incentives for Rural, Unserved California and funding channels such as $10 million per year for rural infrastructure grants, up to $55 million annually for discounts to schools and libraries. http://www.cio.ca.gov/broadband/pdf/CBTF_FINAL_Report.pdf

Public Utilities Code Section 281 requires theCalifornia Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to advance broadband adoption and infrastructure deployment in unserved and underserved areas with a goal of providing broadband access to 98 percent of Californian households through the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF).

The CASF approved funding for infrastructure projects that will provide broadband access to no less than 98 percent of California households. The following are accounts within the fund: the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Account, the Rural and Urban Regional Broadband Consortia Grant Account; the Broadband Infrastructure Revolving Loan Account and the Broadband Public Housing Account.

The CASF is funded by a surcharge rate on revenues collected by telecommunications carriers from end-users for intrastate telecommunications services. The surcharge is currently 0.464% and is authorized to collect $25 million per year. Under changes made in 2012, CASF will fund up to 70% of project costs for unserved areas and 60% for underserved areas. Underserved is defined as no wireline or wireless carrier offering service at advertised speeds of at least 6Mbps down and 1.5Mbps upload; unserved is defined as only having dial-up service available. A revolving loan program was also implemented to provide supplemental financing for projects also applying for CASF grant funding that will provide up to 20% of project costs up to a maximum of $500,000. CASF funded consortia and state agencies have identified areas to be prioritized for funding. There is also a right of first refusal process in place for a certified provider to indicate it has or will be upgrading service to an area that is part of a proposal. Beginning December 2014, project applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. In June 2014, CASF awards totaling $6.9 million in grants and loans for two projects were awarded and in April 2014 four projects were funded with just over $12 million in grants and loans.

The Broadband Public Housing Account will award up to $20 million for broadband connectivity and up to $5 million for up to 85% of the cost of adoption programs. Applications are accepted quarterly. Providers may not charge more than $20/month for service. The speed provided must be at least 6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps upload and have a minimum 1.5 Mbps download speed during peak periods of use.

Colorado
Has a State broadband portal http://broadband.co.gov/ that supports local and regional broadband planning. They have $20 million for broadband planning and middle mile infrastructure https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-vz6H4k4SESX3I1THlRMk1EZjA/view?pref=2&pli=1

Connecticut
They have a State Broadband Office http://www.ct.gov/broadband/site/default.asp A collaboration of Connecticut municipalities issued a RFQ soliciting partnerships with providers to create Gig networks http://www.ct.gov/broadband/cwp/view.asp?a=4524&q=525910

Delaware
Broadband in Delaware is focused on mapping http://www.broadband.delaware.gov/

Florida
The Florida Broadband Initiative was funded by NTIA http://broadbandfla.com – while it doesn’t say the office is closed the site does not appear to be up to date

Georgia
The Georgia Broadband effort was funded by the NTIA https://gta.georgia.gov/annualreport/broadband – while it doesn’t say the office is closed the site does not appear to be up to date

Hawaii
In 2012, Hawaii set its goal for Gig access to everyone by 2018. http://hawaiibroadband.org/about_broadband.html (The Task Force that recommended that goal is now defunct but the Hawaii Broadband website remains.)

Idaho  [additions posted 1/31/2016]
In 2015, Idaho House has unanimously approved a new task force to recommend changes to the state’s piecemeal broadband system. They will report back in 2016. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=157&sid=34169284

Since 2001, Idaho has allowed a tax credit for qualified expenditures in broadband equipment of three percent (capped by the lesser of the amount of taxes owed or $750,000). This tax credit is in addition to the three percent tax credit allowed by the state for capital investment. The broadband that is required to be deployed is 200kbps download and 125kbps upload since the law has not been updated.

Illinois  [additions posted 1/31/2016]
Broadband Illinois (or Illinois Broadband Deployment Council ) is a nonprofit that promotes better broadband http://www.broadbandillinois.org/ .The chair is the Lt Governor.

Governor Pat Quinn today announced the completion of a nearly $100 million, four-year project to install more than 1,000 new miles of high-speed fiber-optic broadband infrastructure across 55 Illinois counties. (Aug 2014) http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=2&RecNum=12472

Governor Pat Quinn launched a competition in 2013 that will award up to $4,000,000 in prize funding to the most promising ultra high-speed broadband deployment projects in Illinois as part of the comprehensive, multi-year Illinois Jobs Now! economic development program. Open to any private or public organization, the contest will result in seed funding awards to build or expand world-class broadband networks in Illinois. Each proposal is to outline a viable plan to connect at least 1,000 end users to an ultra high-speed broadband network. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will review the applications and make the awards.

Indiana
In 2014, the Broadband Working Group released a report with recommendations such as: Streamline permit, zoning, and approval process, Increasing Rural Broadband Adoption, Return on Investment of The Last Mile, Carrier Neutral Access Point Approach and a Rural Broadband Center. http://www.in.gov/lg/files/RBWG_REPORT_12.5.14-_FINAL_v.2.pdf The group agreed to use the [then] current FCC definition of broadband which is 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.

Iowa  [additions posted 1/31/2016]
They define broadband as  25 megabits per second for downloads and 3 megabits per second for uploads. The Legislature approves the idea of broadband grants with no state appropriation. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2015/06/04/iowa-broadband-expansion-bill/28506153/

The Connect Every Iowan released a report in 2013 suggesting a number of recommendations: https://broadband.iowa.gov/sites/files/connect_iowa/documents/Iowa%20STEM%20Broadband%20Committee%20Recommendations%20Report.pdf

House Study Bill 104 was introduced on February 3, 2015 to implement provisions for achieving Governor Branstad’s goal to connect every acre. HSB 104 creates a $5 million grant program with grants awarded in a competitive process to communications service providers for projects serving targeted service areas (defined as not having 25Mbps download/3 Mbps upload broadband service). The bill also provides for a property tax relief of 100 percent of the value added to the property for three years for companies that deploy fiber optic services in areas, including cornfields, which have no high speed service. The bill also requires local units of government to approve permits for the installation of fiber within 60 days; failure to act in that time period would deem the permit approved. Finally, the bill requires the Office of the Chief Information Officer to lead and coordinate a program to provide for the installation of fiber optic network conduit where such conduit does not exist. https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/Published/LGI/86/Attachments/HSB104.html

Kansas
There is a Kansas Statewide Broadband Initiative – mostly for gathering information and initiating discussions. http://www.kansascommerce.com/index.aspx?NID=360

Kentucky
Kentucky Communications Network Authority (KCNA) and its governing board to manage the KentuckyWired open-access broadband network. The project will create high-speed Internet connectivity to every corner of the Commonwealth. Over the next two to three years, more than 3,000 miles of fiber infrastructure, often referred to as the “middle mile,” will be built. The total project is projected to cost approximately $324 million. The project consists of $30 million in state bond funds and $23.5 million in Federal Funds. The remainder of the project, $270.9 million, will be funded with private investment. http://finance.ky.gov/initiatives/nextgenkih/Pages/kcna.aspx

Louisiana
Lousiana Broadband Initiative focused on education residents. It is no longer. http://lagic.lsu.edu/Broadband_Working/about-working.asp

Maine
ConnectME Authority is a component unit of Maine state government whose mission is to facilitate the universal availability of broadband to all Mainers. http://www.maine.gov/connectme/ The award grants of up to $100,000 for projects

Maryland
One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN) is a 1,294-mile fiber optic broadband network that links 1,006+ government facilities and community “anchor institutions” in every county in the state, while interconnecting and extending three independent networks. It was built with ARRA funds.

Massachusetts
In 2008, Governor Patrick and the Legislature created the Massachusetts Broadband Institute http://broadband.masstech.org/ they provide mapping and manage adoption programs for veterans and small businesses. http://doit.maryland.gov/ombn/Pages/ombnHome.aspx

Michigan
Connect Michigan maps broadband availability http://www.connectmi.org/ – they partner with the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Minnesota
MN Office of Broadband Development manages grants for broadband infrastructure across the state. In 2014, they has $20 million for projects, in 2015, they have $10 million. http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/index.jsp The Minnesota Broadband Task Force meets monthly and makes annual recommendations to the Legislature to improve broadband access in the state. The state goal is 10-20 Mbps down and 5-10 Mbps up by 2015. http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/broadband/task-force/index.jsp

Mississippi [additions posted 1/31/2016]
Mississippi is surveying residents about broadband and cell needs http://www.psc.state.ms.us/Commissioners/northern/zapthegap.html Governor Phil Bryant says $15 million will come from oil spill restoration funds Mississippi to fund broadband. http://www.mpbonline.org/blogs/news/2015/06/10/broadband-to-get-15m-boost-on-gulf-coast/

Mississippi offers a tax credit for broadband investment by tier grouping of counties. Counties are grouped into either Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 based on level of unemployment and per capita income. Between 6/30/2003 and 7/1/2020 equipment installed in Tier 1 counties (lower rate of unemployment, higher per capita income) that delivers broadband of at least 384 kbps in one direction is exempt from one-half the sales tax; equipment installed in counties in Tier 2 and Tier 3 are fully exempt from the sales tax.

A credit against income tax and corporation franchise tax liability is also allowed for investments made during the same time period. The credit amount is 5% of the cost of equipment installed in Tier 1 counties, 10% in Tier 2 counties and 15% in Tier 3 counties. The tax credit begins in the tax year in which the equipment is installed and continues for 9 consecutive years thereafter. The maximum amount of the credit may not exceed the cost of the equipment installed and the tax credit taken in any given year may not exceed 50% of the company’s tax liability.

Missouri
Governor Nixon created MoBroadbandNow as a public-private initiative of multiple cooperative partners to expand and enhance broadband accessibility and adoption to all areas of the state. The organization seems no longer. http://mobroadbandnow.com/

Montana
Montana Broadband Program is now closed. It ran from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014. http://www.broadband.mt.gov/about.aspx

Nebraska [additions posted 1/31/2016]
Broadband Goal is: Broadband service of 25 Mbps down will be available to 90% of households by 2020. Nebraska Broadband Initiative does mapping, planning and broadband technical assistance. http://broadband.nebraska.gov/about-nebraska-broadband

In 2015, $500,000 was earmarked for broadband adoption programs.

Nevada
In 2014, the Nevada Broadband Task Force & Connect Nevada released a report that recommended an Office of Broadband Development, a Task Force, State funding and more. http://www.connectnv.org/broadband-plan

New Hampshire
There is a Department of IT and IT Council but neither seem specifically focused on broadband https://www.nh.gov/doit/it-council/index.htm

New Jersey
In 2013, NJ released a broadband report that recommended a number of steps to take, often mentioning federal broadband standards. NJ is currently working on an advisory committee. http://connectingnj.state.nj.us/

New Mexico [additions posted 2/18/2016]
The New Mexico Broadband Program’s two major objectives are to define broadband availability and enhance its adoption. http://www.doit.state.nm.us/broadband/ The working group has not posted notes since 2013.

1st-Mile Institute, in Santa Fe, NM, which has led statewide broadband-for-all efforts since 2006. www.1st-mile.org

New York
NY is investing $500 million. Their goal: Access to broadband at speeds of at least 100 Mbps in most places, and 25 Mbps in the most remote underserved and unserved parts of the State by 2018 https://www.nysbroadband.ny.gov/

North Carolina
NC Broadband provides technical assistance and broadband planning. https://ncbroadband.gov/

North Dakota [additions posted 1/31/2016]
Broadband ND program is focused on ensuring North Dakota’s citizens and public safety agencies have the best possible Broadband service. http://broadband.nd.gov/ There isn’t a lot of recent activity on the website.

SB 2296 was introduced in January 2015 to create a broadband infrastructure revolving loan fund within the state treasury “which is to be used by the Bank of North Dakota to provide loans for upgrades to existing broadband infrastructure to borrowers that qualify under the broadband grant and loan program.” The loan fund would be administered by the bank, which would transfer $50 million, “or so much of the sum as may be necessary, from the bank’s current earnings and undivided profits to the broadband infrastructure revolving loan fund for infrastructure upgrades under the broadband grant and loan program during the biennium beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2017.”

In addition, there would be $10 million appropriated from the state’s general fund to the department of commerce for the purpose of providing grants for new construction under the broadband grant and loan program, for the biennium beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2017, according to the proposed bill.

Ohio
Connect Ohio is working to bring the benefits of universal broadband to Ohio. http://connectohio.org/ Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet), invested $13 million in equipment to “open the faucet” of its current broadband network—increasing the speed of its former bandwidth of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) to an impressive 100 Gbps. https://www.oar.net/network/100gbps

Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Broadband Initiative was responsible for broadband mapping https://www.ok.gov/broadband/

Oregon
The Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC) and a Broadband Advisory Council Fund were created in the 2009 Legislative session. They are still meeting. http://www.orinfrastructure.org/ Their latest report cites a number of federal speed goals. http://www.orinfrastructure.org/Infrastructure-Programs/Telecommunications/OBAC/Reports/BroadbandRpt2014.pdf

Pennsylvania
The Broadband Outreach and Aggregation Fund (BOAF) Program provides communities with resources to overcome challenges in securing Broadband access. http://community.newpa.com/broadband-initiatives/ Broadband is defined in Act 183 of 2004 as “a communication channel using any technology and having a bandwidth equal to or greater than 1.544 megabits per second (Mbps) in the downstream direction and equal to or greater than 128 kilobits per second (Kbp). They have a fund that is expiring in Jun 2016.

Rhode Island
Before sun-setting in Jan 2015, the Broadband Rhode Island published their “final report” which recommends a group to focus on broadband issues for the state and a sustainable funding strategy for broadband projects. http://broadband.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/BBRI%20FInal%20Report%20021915.pdf

South Carolina
Connect Couth Carolina will continue to develop and update the broadband data over time. http://www.connectsc.org/ They appear to be focusing on national broadband goals/definitions (25/3 Mbps).

South Dakota
Broadband.SD.Gov has greatly reduced their services since the end of their federal grant. https://broadband.sd.gov/Default.aspx

Tennessee
Tennessee is currently surveying residents about their broadband need. http://www.tn.gov/ecd/section/broadband-survey They will be looking at municipal broadband legislation in 2016. http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2016/01/05/tennessee-evaluate-broadband-access-statewide/78311778/ Connected TN seems to no longer be active. http://www.connectedtn.org/

Texas
Connected Texas was commissioned by the Texas Department of Agriculture to work with all broadband providers in the state of Texas to create detailed maps. http://www.connectedtx.org/

Utah
The Utah Broadband Advisory Council was formed in June 2011, and meets to coordinate and collaborate on broadband adoption and deployment efforts in the State of Utah. http://broadband.utah.gov/

The State of Utah passed HB 414 in 2015 which created the Utah Broadband Outreach Center. The center works with broadband providers to map their service areas and participates in broadband planning and policy efforts. The center also convenes the Utah Broadband Advisory Council which meets to coordinate and collaborate on broadband adoption and deployment efforts. The center maintains a residential broadband map at broadband.utah.gov/map and a commercial broadband map at locate.utah.gov,which supports the state’s economic development efforts. General information on the Utah Broadband Outreach Center can be found atbroadband.utah.gov/  [Added 2/22/16]

Vermont
Vermont Connected goal: get every address in Vermont broadband speeds of 100/100 Mbps which is among the best service we have in Vermont. http://governor.vermont.gov/vermontconnnected

Virginia
The Office of Telework Promotion and Broadband Assistance promotes and facilitates better broadband. http://www.wired.virginia.gov They have a well formatted toolkit for communities looking into broadband http://www.wired.virginia.gov/toolkit/

Washington
Washington State Broadband Office was closed on December 31, 2014. http://www.commerce.wa.gov/Programs/Infrastructure/Broadband/Pages/default.aspx

West Virginia
Created in 2015 to replace an earlier iteration, the WV Broadband Enhancement Council is charged with expanding high-speed Internet in West Virginia but has no money. Their website is either down or password protected. http://www.govtech.com/state/West-Virginia-Broadband-Panel-to-Get-New-Duties-but-No-Funds.html

Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s Broadband Expansion Grant program is currently funded for four years at $1.5 million per fiscal year beginning in Fiscal Year 2016; for a total of $6 million. http://www.link.wisconsin.gov/ [updated 1/24/16]

Wyoming
The Enterprise Broadband Architect serves as a champion and advocate for the advancement of broadband access and adoption for all citizens of the State of Wyoming. http://ets.wyo.gov/office-of-enterprise-architecture/broadband-enterprise-architecture They have a detailed roadmap https://docs.google.com/document/d/1388HGvlQRZ9DuzyC4TXw-9hTMs57ijxWGsXaRZzzsvg/view?pref=2&pli=1


Responses

  1. Ann
    I’ll send you a listing of federal broadband investments by state once I receive it from DC. As you know the storm has interrupted DC work
    Colleen

    Colleen Landkamer | State Director
    Rural Development
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    375 Jackson St., Suite 410 |St. Paul, MN 55101
    Phone: 651-602-7800 | Fax: 855-744-0401

    On the Web: http://www.rd.usda.gov/mn
    Follow us on Twitter: @RD_Minnesota

    “Committed to the future of rural communities”
    “Estamos dedicados al futuro de las comunidades rurales”

    2009-2014 Minnesota Annual Progress report

  2. […] states are addressing broadband issues in a variety of ways. According to Minnesota’s Blandin Foundation’s State Broadband Initiatives blog, some states have lofty speed targets with significant financial commitments, and others have […]


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