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Northern Marianas Islands

Broadband Mapping Program: CNMI

Goals

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as “The Stimulus”) required the Department of Commerce to develop and maintain a comprehensive, interactive, and searchable nationwide map of existing broadband capability and availability that shows the extent to which broadband is available from providers throughout each State or territory.  Grants were awarded to applicants for each state and territory in order to create such a map; One Economy and its partners were awarded the Stimulus Funds for Broadband mapping in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  In addition to the goals of the Department of Commerce, One Economy aims to improve broadband adoption in CNMI by better understanding the barriers to adopting broadband that residents may face.

The Partners                                                                                                                             

One Economy was the lead applicant in a coalition that included the CNMI Department of Commerce, the New America Foundation, and Broadmap LLC.  One Economy was established in 2000 with the goal of bringing information technology to low-income individuals to allow them to improve their own lives.  The CNMI Department of Commerce is the local branch of government that oversee broadband internet in the territory.  The New America Foundation is an internationally known research organization and Broadmap is a company that specializes in GIS mapping.

The Program

One Economy and its partners aim to create a map and report on Broadband in CNMI by four principal means.  They are:

  • Outreach to internet service providers (ISPs) to provide data including the provider’s area of coverage and services available to customers;
  • Conducting town hall meetings to understand residents’ attitudes toward broadband;
  • Conducting a phone survey of residents to understand their attitudes toward broadband;
  • Encouraging residents to take the Broadband speed test available at
    http://cnmi-bb.broadmap.com/publicmap/ in order to electronically verify their connection speed.

Outcomes

The Broadband mapping program in CNMI will provide an interactive map by which users will be able to click an area and see whether broadband services are available and at what speeds.  In addition to the Broadband map, One Economy will submit a blueprint for digital inclusion in CNMI based on the results of the town halls and the phone survey.