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 Ultra-precise chip-scale sensor detects unprecedentedly small changes at the nanoscale
18.01.2017 | The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

nachricht Data analysis optimizes cyber-physical systems in telecommunications and building automation
18.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Algorithmen und Wissenschaftliches Rechnen SCAI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>