City Name: City of Cedar Rapids, IA, City of Butte-Silver Bow, MT, and Town of Purcellville, VA

NLC Partner: Esri

Problem: Reliable and affordable broadband access is essential for effective economic growth, education, workforce development, health care, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the significant gaps in broadband access and affordability that cities must address to ensure equitable opportunity for all. However, accurate data is difficult to come by and cities may not know where to start, especially with the influx of federal funding.

Solution: To address broadband challenges, cities can use geographic information systems (GIS) to identify service levels through accurate data collection, incorporate equity considerations, and present strong evidence of broadband needs to providers and funding agencies. By creating a more accurate understanding of broadband access, communities can better prioritize broadband investment.

Outcome: Esri worked with three NLC member cities to validate data and implement solutions that will help them understand their community’s needs, plan broadband expansion, efficiently partner with providers, secure funding, and fast-track future broadband investment.

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