Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

eCorridors Program Assists Alaska in Assessing Broadband

01.07.2009
Virginia Tech's eCorridors program and the Northwest Arctic Broadband Task Force conducted a weeklong experiment this spring to provide a 'snapshot' baseline assessment of broadband conditions in Alaska.

Increasing numbers of states across the nation are seeking ways to map their own broadband Internet access. Why? The U.S. government has approved $350 million for mapping broadband as part of the economic stimulus plan.

Some groups are suggesting that stimulus funds only be provided to those states that have broadband maps already in place.

Last fall, the U.S. Congress passed the Broadband Data Improvement Act, directing technology planners to perform broadband surveys in order to gather information about their areas. The law also defines expectations of what should be measured--particularly in unserved or underserved areas.

The primary purpose of the Alaska Broadband Speed Test data collection project is to better understand various aspects of broadband access methods available in Alaska. The Virginia Tech eCorridors Broadband speed-mapping tool was chosen to collect data for this effort because of its successful implementation since 2006 -- incorporating data from sources worldwide, and proven ability to collect the kind of data that serves Alaska’s purpose. The mapping website works by allowing users to mark their location on a customized Google map and then associate this marker with the results of the speed test. Unlike other broadband maps, the eCorridors map allows end users to document the actual performance of their broadband connection.

The Alaska Internet Speed Test was sponsored by various “Internet-for-Alaska” advocacy groups and conducted between March 30 and April 5, 2009. In order to encourage broad based participation in the speed test, the group disseminated postcards, posted to a website, distributed flyers and press releases, and produced regional radio broadcasts and public service announcements. Susan Warner, a member of the Northwest Arctic Broadband Task Force, stated, “The Virginia Tech eCorridors group was extraordinarily helpful in allowing us to use their data collection tool to gather some initial baseline data in a very intense one-month project.”

Alaska faces massive geographical challenges relating to broadband Internet access. Alaska’s State Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development has identified 294 Alaska communities with at least some access to the Internet. Throughout Alaska’s short one-week test, 284 responses were posted from at least 88 unique zip codes. “Besides the Google Map representation, the eCorridors group provided the backend analysis, particularly related to residential and small business consumers. This is particularly important as the Federal Broadband Improvement Act directs regional planning groups to reach out to these types of consumers,” said Warner.

“Although this was a successful initial research project, more data collection is required in order to develop a fully informed broadband map,” explains Brenda van Gelder, director of the eCorridors (www.ecorridors.vt.edu/) program. “The next step for the state would be to set up a sustainable broadband inventory and mapping system that incorporates data obtained from private sector providers.”

The Alaska project demonstrates an inexpensive and efficient method for broadband mapping that could be implemented by other states. The challenge lies in achieving sufficient promotion and participation in order to obtain a significant sample size.

According to van Gelder, any state can use the eCorridors map as it is – they can simply refer users to the map’s Web address and request that they submit data. State planners then simply request that eCorridors provide the backend data to them. This is available at no charge; provided that it can be used for Virginia Tech’s ongoing research in broadband, including potential publications and papers.

eCorridors can also tailor a map if a state desires basic customization. An example of this would be a K-12 speed test mapping project (www.vtnews.vt.edu/story.php?relyear=2009&itemno=27) and the Virginia public libraries map designed for Virginia's secretary of technology, then Aneesh Chopra.

In cooperation with broadband providers, state leaders and planners can use information gathered by these tools and processes in order to address the areas that need attention and to maximize economic development strategies that rely on technology infrastructure.

View the eCorridors Community Broadband Access Map at www.ecorridors.vt.edu/maps/broadbandmap.php

Patrick Fay | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>