The City of Cedar Rapids was selected to participate in a pilot broadband availability analysis with National League of Cities and the software company ESRI. The project assessed the current availability and use of broadband for Cedar Rapids residents.
The ESRI team worked with the City of Cedar Rapids and other partners to develop an app that was distributed to businesses and residents to test broadband speed and capture data regarding broadband capabilities across municipalities. The survey was distributed in early December 2021. ESRI will then be able to analyze that data and provide recommendations on equity and reach. There is no cost for the City of Cedar Rapids to participate in this project.
Broadband coverage is the new critical infrastructure. There is neither economic development, personal economic advancement, nor can there be social equity, without access to the Internet.
A dashboard with results from participants is available at: https://cr-broadband-crgis.hub.arcgis.com/.
Awards & Acknowledgements
This work was highlighted at the National League of Cities virtual City Summit on November 16, 2021. In February 2022, the National League of Cities announced project partners ESRI; the City of Cedar Rapids; the City-County of Butte-Silver Bow, MT; and the town of Purcellville, VA as the recipient of their Capstone Challenge Series Award for Most Innovative and Impactful Projects. View Mayor Tiffany O'Donnell's award remarks.
The Capstone Challenge connected project partners to understand broadband availability in their respective communities. The public-private collaboration provided structure to keep the project moving forward and facilitated development of a replicable framework for broadband analysis.