Little Rock, Arkansas
July 17, 2009
Community Anchor Point Mapping Data Released to Aid Broadband Stimulus Grant Applicants
The Arkansas Recovery Office, in conjunction with Arkansas Geographic Information Office, is pleased to announce that a series of geographic datasets have been compiled for Arkansas broadband providers and entrepreneurs to assist with their broadband grant applications. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently announced that applicants for the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) are required to prepare project service area maps.
Information about the map requirements was released at one of ten national program workshops held in Lonoke, Arkansas on July 16, 2009. The data was organized by the Arkansas Geographic Information Office. This one-stop shop is a collection of geographic information system (GIS) files containing Census Blocks with household counts and community anchor points such as schools, hospitals, law enforcement, state institutions and other government locations that are to be counted by Census Block in preparation for submitting proposals.
Shelby Johnson, the State’s Geographic Information Officer said, “Governor Beebe was very clear about making every state resource available to help our businesses and communities apply for as much of this funding as possible to extend broadband across the state and we’re excited to help.”
The data has been loaded onto the state’s GIS platform known as GeoStor located at http://www.geostor.arkansas.gov.
Once there users simply type in the keyword “broadband” to find the data. Grant applicants without GIS software can also find a list of GIS service providers who can compose service area maps. Additional data layers will be added as the Arkansas Geographic Information Office becomes aware of them until the August 14, 2009 deadline for BIP and BTOP grant applications closes.