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Digital Arizona

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The making of Arizona's digital information
web portal

Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology (ASET) has created the Digital Arizona Program website -- the primary information web portal for "All Things Broadband" in Arizona.

In the near future our broadband portal will support secure log on and reporting from Community Anchor Institutions (ie. schools, libraries, hospitals, government buildings, etc.) connectivity, speeds, costs, and miscellaneous contact information, to help us evaluate their possible rural broadband deficits in response to a comprehensive community engagement campaign.

ASET is a division of the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA).

The Digital Arizona Program website is funded with Federal stimulus grants administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA); and with matching funds from Arizona. The matching funds are largely “in-kind” from the contribution of mapping assets previously developed by the State for 911 uses and other purposes.

ASET's Initial Broadband Mapping and Planning
Federal Grant

Arizona received a $2.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The funding comes in two grants which are being managed by ASET (a division of ADOA).

The first grant was for approximately $1.8 million over a two-year period for broadband data collection and mapping activities. The second grant is for approximately $500,000 over a three-year period for the purpose of broadband planning and determining future broadband needs.

The broadband mapping project will collect and verify the availability, speed and location of broadband across Arizona. This information will be publicly available; updated on a semi-annual basis through 2011. Citizens, local governments, and related research organizations will enjoy a direct benefit from access to this new and additional information.

ASET's Supplemental Broadband Mapping and Planning Grant

The State of Arizona was also awarded an additional $4.064 million by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in order to map and plan expansion of broadband access.

The previous $2.3 million NTIA grant funded broadband mapping of the state for two years and broadband planning for three years. Now both projects will be funded for five years each, with the additional funding from this award.

Approximately $2.189 million of this additional federal funding will go towards broadband mapping; and approximately $1.875 million of federal grant dollars will go towards broadband planning, utilizing data from the from the mapping project to help promote and expand broadband in the state. This grant will be managed by ASET.

This additional federal grant funding will ultimately provide for longer term broadband planning for the state of Arizona. This information will be publicly available; and updated on a semi-annual basis through 2015. The broadband planning aspect of this grant will assist local communities, especially in rural areas, in meeting their broadband needs.

First Round Arizona Broadband Grants Awarded

A grant for the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Division for $1.3 million was awarded and will provide more than 1,000 computers to 84 libraries throughout the state of Arizona. This grant allows Arizona's libraries to extend their reach to more than 450,000 previously underserved citizens of Arizona.

The Tohono O'odham Utility Authority (TOUA) was selected to receive a $3.6 million loan and a $3.6 million grant to design, engineer and construct a digital network to replace dial-up service. This project will provide services throughout the Tohono O'odham Reservation using Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) and fixed wireless broadband.

The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA) was awarded an approximately $32.2 million federal grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). This grant along with partial matching funds, will provide middle mile and last mile broadband infrastructure access to the Navajo Nation.

The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) was awarded a federal grant through the broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) that will provide a total of 75 computers to three community centers in Phoenix, Arizona. This a multi-state grant award with approximately $500,000 going to Arizona for this project. Chicanos por la Causa will implement this portion of the grant in Arizona for MEDA.

The locations of the three centers are:

  • Carl Hayden Community Center (25 computers) located at 3216 East Van Buren;

  • Chicanos por la Causa Commerce Plaza Community Center (30 computers) located at 1008 East Buckeye Road, and

  • Chicanos por la Causa Workforce Development Center (20 computers) located at 3150 North 35th Avenue.

This project is designed to address Latino unemployment through microenterprise development leading to job creation. The use of these computers will be multi-functional. Entrepreneurs who wish to start businesses will be provided with the information, advice and technological access to the internet to start their enterprises.

Second Round Arizona Broadband Grants Awarded

The State of Arizona was awarded a $1,646,936 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to fund 200 Virtual Workforce Workstations and 28 Arizona Job Help Hubs for education and career training in public library locations throughout the state.

The San Carlos Apache Telecommunications Utility, Inc. (SCATUI) was awarded a $10.5 million grant/loan that will provide fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) service to the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona. Over 6,000 people, 20 businesses, and 50 community institutions, including emergency service personnel, a hospital and facilities that are currently unserved stand to benefit.

Hopi Telecommunications Inc. (HTI) was awarded a $3.6 million grant/loan that will connect Jeddito, Arizona with existing broadband infrastructure more than 60 miles away. In addition, HTI will connect currently unserved residents of Jeddito and Spider Mound. Over 7,000 individuals stand to benefit, as do dozens of businesses and more than 20 community institutions.

The Arizona Telephone Company was awarded a $4 million USDA grant to fund broadband expansion projects in three rural areas of Arizona. These areas include: The greater town of Sasabe area on the border, the area between I-10 and I-8 west of Phoenix and east of the Kofa Mountain Range; and the greater Mormon Lake area southeast of Flagstaff towards Payson. This grant funding will bring high-speed DSL broadband service to unserved establishments within its rural service territory, which is comparable to the DSL service provided in its more populated areas. This project stands to benefit approximately 1,325 people, and 54 businesses and estimates that this project will directly create more than 100 jobs upfront and help drive economic development in these communities.

The Tohono O'Odham Utility Authority was awarded a second round USDA broadband grant for $10,307,000 that serves as a last mile infrastructure project that compliments the tribe's first round USDA middle mile infrastructure grant award of $3,565,900 in grant money and $3,565,900 in loan funds. This project stands to benefit approximately 6,500 people, 1,300 businesses, and 60 other community institutions.

GovNET, Inc. was awarded a $39.3 million grant, with an additional $12.7 million in matching contributions, will allow GovNET to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Arizona. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 280 community institutions, with a focus on improving public safety, healthcare delivery, and other critical government services.

The Havasupai Reservation and two scientific research facilities will benefit from a $2.2 million USDA Rural Utility Services (RUS) grant to J.C. Cullen, Inc., to implement the Northern Arizona Data Internet Network Extension (NADINE) to provide 300 Mbps of capacity to rural areas on the reservation that will benefit some 5,825 people, 8 businesses and 20 community institutions. The company estimates 22 jobs will be created.

Midvale Telephone Exchange is the recipient of a $1,116,412 USDA Rural Utility Services (RUS) grant to provide broadband service at speeds of at least 20 Mbps in the Prescott Prairie, Mingus Meadows and Mingus Mountains areas of Henderson Valley. Approximately 293 people and 981 businesses will benefit.

Midvale Telephone Exchange is also the recipient of a $2,146,814 USDA Rural Utility Services (RUS) grant to provide broadband services with a minimum of 20 Mbps in rural areas of Young that will benefit approximately 490 people, 14 businesses and 1 anchor institution.

Arizona Broadband Advisory Committee

Governors have been asked by the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to provide advice and suggested priorities for broadband grant applications in their respective state. Approximately 107 grant requests were received for Arizona in the first round of funding.

In response, the Arizona Broadband Advisory Committee (ABAC) was formed to provide expertise and advice to the Governor's office on broadband grant applications.

ABAC consists of a representative from ten different state agencies with ASET serving as the lead agency.

Governor Jan Brewer considered the information and advice of ABAC before forwarding her final recommendations to the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

For further information see:

Rural Broadband Development

ASET was involved in several initiatives to encourage the development of telecommunication infrastructure in rural areas of the State. In these partnerships, ASET utilizes the award winning Telecommunication Open Partnership of Arizona (TOPAZ) to guide agency interactions in telecommunication projects throughout the State. TOPAZ encourages State and local government organizations to actively partner with, and be the anchor tenant for, private sector broadband infrastructure build-out projects.

Communications Infrastructure
Advisory Committee (CIAC)

ASET provides staffing support and strategic direction to the Arizona Communications Infrastructure Advisory Committee. This Public/Private committee is part of the Governor's Council on Innovation and Technology (GCIT).

The CIAC focuses on the issues related to the ubiquitous deployment of broadband capability to all of Arizona. Key issues include Middle Mile, Last Mile, Right-of-Way and definition funding solutions. Current efforts are concentrated on Rural Arizona along with other deficit areas in both Urban and Rural settings.

Arizona GIS Broadband Survey

This Study identifies collaborative opportunities, architectural frameworks, and costs to sustain a blended GIS Broadband Assessment Project. Its primary purpose was to document the GIS data sources from the public sector (i.e., State, County, etc), Broadband Provider (commercial or contributed) to augment physical surveying (field, statistical, and via crowd sourcing) necessary to map the State’s broadband infrastructure capacity and availability.

Finally, it identifies the various pros and cons related to a scaled implementation of a Survey. Extensively documented is a State by State view of their respective broadband assessment initiatives. From these can be derived cost estimates, best practices, strategic policy guidelines and quality of information metrics, helpful in informing Arizona’s future Survey efforts.

ASET's intent for this Broadband Assessment Geographic Information System (GIS) Study - completed January 2009, is as a Phase 1 step toward a full GIS Survey of Arizona's broadband infrastructure. A completed Survey will provide Arizona's decision makers details about broadband capacities and deficits areas across Arizona's landscape, leading to better decisions about broadband deployment, economic development, the digital delivery of education, health care and government services, statewide.

In the Information Age, knowing the availability or deficits of broadband infrastructure in a particular area is critical for decisions about quality of life for that area. We believe the Study to be the most current view of what is happening nationally regarding implementation strategies for broadband surveys, and general broadband policies in the States.

It is our hope that others can benefit from this Study and thereby move closer to the goal of ubiquitous broadband availability.

Arizona Broadband Project
ASET is leading the charge to identify needs and encourage collaboration on the expansion of Broadband to promote job growth and economic development in Arizona, while lowering costs.

Our Mission:

To promote and facilitate broadband access through public-private cooperation – to provide all Arizona citizens and businesses the means to utilize high volume digital information and services at a reasonable cost – to create economic opportunity and improve quality of life for every person, organization, and community throughout Arizona.

   - Digital Arizona Program

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