Thanks to the publication of a new map, residents and lawmakers will both be able to see where broadband is, and isn’t available in their state. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson unveiled the map during a recent media release, reports KAIT-TV.
“This project puts Arkansas on the cutting edge of broadband mapping nationally,” Hutchinson said in the press release. “Broadband delivery is a top priority, and long before the pandemic, I asked state agencies to accelerate the closing of the digital divide between our cities and less-populated rural communities. Our diligence and proactive efforts put us in position to utilize federal funds we have received during the pandemic to enhance our broadband system. Our map identifies broadband sources by structure, a level of detail that allows users to find exactly where broadband is available.”
Arkansas ranks 41st in broadband access for its residents, according to BroadbandNow.com. The broadband map is a follow up to an announcement Hutchinson made last summer stating that Arkansas was preparing to spend $25 million to deliver service across the state by 2022.
Funding for the new map was provided through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, with analysis assistance from CostQuest Associates. The new map will enable a person to research an address to see how many broadband providers are in the area, and what broadband speeds are available.