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November 15: GIS Day 2017
By Connected Nation
Today we recognize GIS Day, established in 1999 to show how geographic intelligence touches everyone. It is now a global event that demonstrates how far geographic information systems (GIS) extend into people’s lives and provides a forum for users to showcase their unique accomplishments using GIS. Connected Nation uses GIS to better understand the current broadband landscape, analyze service availability and potential expansion impacts, collect local feedback on coverage gaps, and evaluate network engineering data collections. Our mission is to ensure that everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. “GIS is an essential part of our daily operations as we work to close the Digital Divide,” said Ashley Hitt, Director of GIS Services. “The analyses we can do to show where people are unserved and underserved using several speed and demographic variables just scratch the surface of how we use GIS. GIS allows us to collect and analyze the type of location intelligence...
The Atlantic Forum: Bringing Broadband and Technology to Students
By Rachel O'Morrow
On Monday, October 16, Executive Director of Connect Ohio, Stu Johnson, arrived in Columbus, Ohio at The Columbus Museum of Art to speak about the need for technology in education and the process to get digital tools into the hands of all students. Leading broadband policymakers, educators, and innovators gathered for the forum hosted by The Atlantic, Johnson joined a panel with the CEO of the Cleveland Foundation and an educator from Monroe County. Johnson and the other panelists were directed into the green room to set up their mics and prepare for the conversation. Nearly 200 attendees waited in the audience for the panel to begin. Most attendees were personally invited because of their involvement with broadband initiatives, including Columbus Mayor, Andrew Ginther, and Ohio Board of Education members. All were eager to hear the process of bringing broadband connection and technology into schools to benefit student careers. “There are two problems . . . if students don...
Connected Nation: Ensuring Schools are Tech Ready
By Jessica Denson
How important is technology in our nation’s public schools? If you ask students, teachers, and parents, it can mean the difference between a future filled with hope and one lived in poverty. "We want our children to go on to live life even more prosperously than we are. Without technology, they are doomed,” said Bryant Miller, a father interviewed for a new National Geographic documentary film entitled, Without a Net. “Public education should be the great equalizer,” Arne Duncan, former Secretary of Education, told the filmmakers. “The goal is to break cycles of poverty to give kids the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to enter the middle class. A huge percentage of the jobs of the future are going to be in the technology space.” It’s a truth that those of us at Connected Nation (CN) believe—America’s children must have access to the internet and technology to live proactive, fulfilled lives. Our mission is to ensure...
Two Broadband Expansion Bills: A Call to Action for Ohioans
By Jessica Denson
Bi-partisan legislation has been introduced in the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives to expand broadband access in unserved areas of the Buckeye State. Senate Bill 199, introduced by Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman) and Senator Cliff Hite (R-Findlay), and companion House Bill 378 introduced by Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) and Representative Jack Cera (D-Bellaire), seek to create a $50 million per year grant program using existing funding from Ohio Third Frontier bond revenue. According to a press release issued on Senate Bill 199 last month, the Ohio Development Services Agency (DSA) would award grants of up to $5 million to businesses, non-profits, co-ops, and/or political subdivisions to build broadband infrastructure in unserved areas of the state. Grants would be awarded based on applications that best address community needs, including technical support and digital literacy training, with emphasis on vital community anchor institutions.  In...