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Broadband Resources

Understanding Broadband

FCC's Getting Broadband Consumer Guide:  The FCC has produced a consumer guide that includes the basics of what broadband is and the different types of technologies.  

FCC's Fixed Broadband Deployment Map:  Every 6 months, the FCC collects data from broadband providers.  Visit their most recent map to see what providers report coverage in your area.  Data for this map was collected in December 2016 and does not include mobile broadband.  Even in census blocks depicted as being served, it is possible that some locations don’t have access to broadband Internet service.  The potential for discrepancies exists because providers report coverage to the FCC by census blocks rather than by individual locations.

FCC's 2018 Broadband Deployment Report:  Every year, the FCC issues a report on the state of broadband deployment across the country.  Using the data collected from providers, this year’s report puts Tennessee’s 25/3 access rate at 91%. The appendix also includes county specific numbers.

Broadband USA's Network Costs at a Glance: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration produced a quick guide to costs associated with broadband deployment. 

American Broadband Initiative – Milestone Report: The report outlines a vision for how the Federal Government can increase broadband access, and actions that Agencies are taking to increase private-sector investment in broadband. The report’s recommendations are grouped into three categories: streamlining federal permitting processes, leveraging federal assets, and maximizing the impact of federal funding.

US Department of Interior: The US Department of the Interior (DOI) launched an effort to increase broadband internet access on federally-managed lands. This website outlines their plan and potential solutions to both improve and streamline the permitting process and includes a mapping tool.

Disconnected: Seven Lessons On Fixing the Digital Divide: This report released in July 2019 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City focuses on broadband access, economic impact and solutions for communities to narrow the digital divide. Just 53 percent of adults with incomes less than $30,000 in the US have broadband at home. Nearly 68 percent of people without broadband at home live in rural communities. Based on national data, interviews, surveys and roundtables, "Disconnected" illustrates that the digital divide affects every aspect of community and economic development and that digital access should capture the attention of every community leader.


Community Planning Resources

Broadband USA's Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap:  NTIA created this toolkit to support local community in planning activities to help expand broadband in a way that drives economic growth and educational opportunities.       

Appalachian Regional Commission Broadband Planning Primer and Toolkit:  ARC created this toolkit to provide information about broadband technology and resources to support the planning process.

USDA’s Rural e-Connectivity Consumer Toolkit: The USDA’s toolkit highlights examples of how e-Connectivity resources are being used to increase access to broadband services in rural communities. It also allows customers to locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction and other projects.

Adoption and Digital Inclusion

Broadband USA's Adoption Toolkit:  Based on lesson’s learned from grantees, NTIA created this guide to support communities in increasing broadband adoption.  This toolkit includes many success stories from across the country and important considerations when launching an adoption program.

National Digital Inclusion Alliance Guidebook: This guidebook is concerned with one  organizational choice that digital inclusion leaders in some communities are making: community-wide digital inclusion coalitions. Libraries, community-based organizations, local governments, housing authorities and others in cities across the country organize coalitions to cooperatively address equitable access and use of communication technologies. 

Access and Inclusion in the Digital Age:  This is a resource guide designed for local governments to support the advancement of digital inclusion.  The guide was developed by a team of six cities from across the country (including Chattanooga).

ConnectHome Playbook :  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development created this playbook to help housing communities build partnerships to narrow the digital divide.

PCs for People: PCs for People refurbishes desktop and laptop computers for distribution to eligible recipients. To receive technology from PCs for People, a potential recipient must be below 200% poverty level or be currently enrolled in an income-based government assistance program.

Examples for Other Communities:

Consumer Complaints

FCC Consumer Complaint Center:  The FCC has a Consumer Complaint Center where anyone can file an official complaint about a telecom billing or service issue.  The site also allows individuals to participate in an informal process and report any concerns about providers or policies without going through the formal complaint process.          

Grant Funding Opportunities:

NTIA Federal Funding Guide:  NTIA has compiled a list of funding resources related to broadband.  

Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Grants: This is a congressionally funded initiative to assist coal-impacted communities in the ARC region.  Broadband is included as one of the four areas of focus for this year’s program.  ARC will  accept applications through Spring 2020. 

Community Connect Grants:  USDA administers this program to support broadband deployment in rural areas.   

USDA ReConnect Grant and Loan Program: Congress appropriated $600M for building improved broadband e-Connectivity for families, businesses, farms, schools and health care facilities by offering loans and grants to build infrastructure and install equipment that provides modern, reliable, high-speed internet service in rural America. Click the link to learn about the requirements including eligible grant applicants and eligible expenses.