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 Cutting edge research for the industries of tomorrow – DFKI and NICT expand cooperation
21.03.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

nachricht Molecular motor-powered biocomputers
20.03.2017 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pulverizing electronic waste is green, clean -- and cold

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers hazard a ride in a 'drifting carousel' to understand pulsating stars

22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New gel-like coating beefs up the performance of lithium-sulfur batteries

22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>