Washington, D.C. October 6, 2009– CNMI’s office of the Governor has partnered with One Economy in its efforts to create a comprehensive broadband availability map for the CNMI, identifying and reducing barriers to broadband access, while also recognizing the opportunities for broadband expansion in unserved and underserved areas. One Economy and its partners will support Governor Benigno Fitial in his goal to expand broadband availability to all people of the CNMI, while also leveraging their expertise in broadband adoption and job creation.
“We are committed to increasing the availability of quality broadband service for all individuals, families, and communities in the CNMI,” said Gov. Fitial. “We have partnered with a group of experts in their fields, enabling the CNMI to maximize the amount of broadband stimulus funding awarded, so that we can achieve our goals. One Economy and its partners have extensive experience working with other states to increase broadband availability and adoption – providing a complete solution that will result in great economic benefit to the CNMI.”
One Economy has vast experience in the broadband planning space and has assisted lower income communities in gaining access to broadband at an affordable cost through their Digital Connectors program (http://www.one-economy.com/ourwork/youthinitiatives). They will bring this program to the CNMI, where they plan to train and hire upwards of 200 local people to support this effort. One Economy and its partners are also working to provide broadband mapping and planning solutions to American Samoa, Hawaii, Mississippi, Oregon, Guam, and South Dakota.
“We fully support Governor Fitial’s proactive broadband plan and the communities of the CNMI to help them realize the educational, health and overall economic benefits when you connect to your world faster” said Rey Ramsey, CEO of One Economy. “We are committed to leveraging our past experiences and expertise to ensure that the CNMI receives the optimal benefits from the NTIA grants.”
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) has allotted 7.2 billion for the development and expansion of broadband nationwide, $350 million of which has been set aside for the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA) allowing states and territories to develop granular and transparent broadband serviceability maps enabling consumers to understand the options that are available and not available to them at the address level. To maximize the benefits of these broadband maps and advance adoption rates in the unserved and underserved communities, a portion of the funds can also be attributed to broadband planning, including programs to understand the barriers to adoption, drive technology awareness, and educate communities through digital literacy programs.
“Our maps will give leaders of the CNMI the tools they need to better understand eligible areas for broadband stimulus funds and consumers a better understanding of the service options available to them,” said Daniel Perrone, CEO of BroadMap. “We have been in the mapping and serviceability industry since the early days of broadband, our solution enables us to compile multiple layers of real-time data of location and serviceability. With our collective partner experience, we will help the people of the CNMI drive consumer awareness, increase education, and help local communities realize the benefits of the stimulus funding.”
“We are not only impressed by One Economy’s ability to provide the required data, but also by the extra steps taken to verify the accuracy of the data,” said said Gov. Fitial. “They will conduct surveys gathering real-time information online through New America’s Measurement-Lab collaboration with Google and through their Digital Connectors program, which will also provide new jobs and digital literacy training to our local communities.”
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BroadMap’s world class solutions enable governments to plan growth, broadband providers to identify opportunities, and consumer to explore options. BroadMap aggregates critical data from local and national sources and conducts independent verification processes to create and provide the most complete, accurate and up-to-date maps available. The information is the foundation in understanding how to expand broadband serviceability nationwide. BroadMap has offices in both Richmond, VA and Lebanon, New Hampshire. BroadMap believes it is essential to provide states with the information they need to extend broadband connectivity to everyone, empowering local communities and businesses in the digital age. For more information, visit www.broadmap.com.
About New America Foundation:
The New America Foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. New America emphasizes work that is responsive to the changing conditions and problems of our 21st Century information-age. With an emphasis on big ideas, impartial analysis and pragmatic solutions, New America invests in outstanding individuals whose ability to communicate to wide and influential audiences can change the country’s policy discourse in critical areas, bringing promising new ideas and debates to the fore. Launched in 1999, the institute is now led by President and CEO Steve Coll, former managing editor of The Washington Post, and an outstanding Board of Directors, chaired by Eric Schmidt (Google Chairman and CEO). Through its Wireless Future Program and Open Technology Initiative, New America pursues a mission of ubiquitous and affordable broadband connectivity for all. New America is headquartered in Washington D.C. and also has a significant presence in California. www.newamericafoundation.net
About One Economy:
One Economy Corporation is a global non-profit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 17 million people have used One Economy’s online tools and resources, including the Public Internet Channel, an online network of public-purpose media–programming that engages, informs and inspires action. Launched in 2006 by honorary co-chairs now-President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain, the Public Internet Channel features fiction and non-fiction programming that addresses topics such as health, money, and sustainable living. For more information visit: www.one-economy.com