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Other activities at the Colorado Broadband Data & Development Program

posted Jun 24, 2014, 2:31 PM by Megan Chadwick Gernert - OIT   [ updated Jun 24, 2014, 2:32 PM ]

The main focus of the Colorado Broadband Data & Development Program (CBDDP) is the collection, processing, and mapping of broadband service information for the Colorado and National Broadband Maps.  However, our CBDDP mapping team also has two other major projects underway: 1) Community Anchor Institution, or "CAI" data collection, and 2) development of a statewide address point database. Both projects are important for broadband service mapping but have wider utility for other state functions as well.

Community Anchor Institutions, or "CAIs"

CAIs include public safety, health care, education, higher education and other government facilities. The CAI data collection includes two components: 

  1. Creating an accurate spatial database of the locations of these facilities
  2. Collecting information about the broadband service at these locations

OIT began to develop the locational database by collecting information from a variety of state and federal sources.  Over the past year, we have been improving the location data by incorporating local information and confirming locations with the facilities directly.  Of course, if we are able to refine data provided by local entities through our own data validation process, we provide the refined data back to those local entities for their benefit. 

In addition to validating addresses and locations through direct contact with the CAIs, we also interview them about their broadband service. We ask them a number of questions, including:

  • Who is your provider?
  • What is the cost of your service?
  • To what speed do you subscribe?

These questions do not always have simple answers since many institutions have complex connections and networks, while others struggle to achieve the necessary connections for their daily operations. We also ask each CAI to take a speed test in order to get an understanding of how their provider is meeting their connectivity needs.  This broadband information from the CAIs is very important to assessing and planning for broadband service in the state. You can see the CAI information by clicking the "Community Anchor Institutions" tab on the Colorado Broadband Map.

Address Point Database

A statewide address point database is composed of point locations of all of the addresses in the state. We construct this database by compiling local address data into a standard statewide data structure. OIT has received address data from 44 of the 64 counties in the state, and we estimate that this covers approximately 90 to 95 percent of the addresses in Colorado. This data will accurately reflect the local assignment of addresses, especially in rural areas where private address data is often less complete, and it is the foundation for accurately mapping broadband service addresses supplied by broadband providers, which is our desired data from broadband service providers. The address data is also important for other uses such as emergency management and public safety and other government administrative functions. For example, these data were very beneficial in the response and recovery efforts by FEMA and the Red Cross after the catastrophic flood in the front range in September of last year.

Both of these efforts will continue as OIT maintains our broadband mapping effort after the NTIA grant expires. As always, OIT is happy to provide further information about them, and welcomes your comments. In particular, we hope that the LTPTs and other local stakeholders will review our CAI data and help us to continuously improve it.