Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson released the Arkansas State Broadband Map, an interactive tool that allows Arkansans to find broadband providers in their neighborhood and assists state agencies in developing broadband policy.
“This project puts Arkansas on the cutting edge of broadband mapping nationally,” Governor Hutchinson said in a Jan. 13 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.”
The new tool allows Arkansans to input their address and see what broadband coverage is available in their area, what companies provide the service and the service’s speed. The mapping project is in partnership with the State Broadband Office through the Arkansas Department of Commerce and the Department of Education.
This announcement comes after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invested $7.1 million in broadband for rural Arkansas communities in January 2020, through the USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program.
“Through USDA’s ReConnect Program, more than 1,250 Arkansans living in rural communities will get access to the latest broadband technology that will connect them to opportunities in education, health care, and economic development,” USDA Rural Development Arkansas State Director David Branscum said.