Frequently Asked Questions
|Q||What is Mapping the St. Louis Digital Divide all about?|
|A||This is inventorying, in a graphical and visually compelling way, the Internet connectivity and digital assets available to our area. The mapping will enable us to better identify areas of our community that are under served by Internet resources and infrastructure. We will be examining characteristics such as the bandwidth, latency, and jitter of the city, and various neighborhoods and blocks in the St. Louis Metro Area. Our approach allows for a more granular assessment of infrastructure quality, including at a block-by-block level. If our community is to eradicate the digital divide, first we must clearly identify it.|
|A||Eradicating the digital divide will require the confluence of political will, technology, and funding. Our area has elected leaders dedicated to helping our city become more inclusive for all who live here. In addition, and per the above, together the iNeighborhoods and Blossom technology also allows for targeting of the city, digital divide, underserved areas, and areas of special opportunity. Finally, the Federal Government, via the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, has recently made available trillions of dollars for infrastructure, broadband, and economic development assistance. Thus, we have perhaps a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address digital access and inclusivity in our area.|
|Q||Can you tell me about the new stimulus funding that available?|
|A||The Federal government recently announced a sweeping $ 1.2 trillion stimulus package aimed at investing in and rebuilding America’s infrastructure. Within that the “Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” has set aside $65 billion for broadband and historic levels of support for digital inclusion. The legislation will provide $42.5 billion for broadband deployment, $14 billion in subsidies for low-income people to connect to broadband, $1 billion for middle mile investments, and $2.75 billion for Digital Equity. Even though the $65 billion set aside for broadband sounds like a big number, which it is, there will be fierce competition amongst the fifty states and territories for those monies. Funding will likely be obligated soon, and some funds dispersed over the next five years.
For St. Louis to fully benefit from these monies, St. Louis area grant applicants will benefit from a digital broadband map of the entire St. Louis area, and an engagement method that will allow for greater mapping granularity of challenged areas, Promise Zones, neighborhoods, new public spaces, main streets, or innovative community solutions, to build stronger grant applications. The digital mapping identifies those areas in which improvements are most acutely needed in broadband access and assures grant makers that their monies will be most effectively invested.
|Q||Who is leading this effort?|
|A||The digital mapping is being led by iNeighborhoods and Blossom, two St. Louis-area startup technology firms. iNeighborhoods develops cost effective, high impact digital community solutions, which accelerate the overall socio-economic development and prosperity of cities in North America. Blossom is a simple, inclusive app platform that strengthens communities by connecting the physical and digital worlds. It connects all types of technology in a single, secure location to circumvent the need for many separate management applications. iNeighborhoods and Blossom will outreach to the community via forums such as the December 8th meeting and February 22nd Phase I Mapping Review Meeting to assume that everyone interested is apprised of progress and results. iNeighborhoods and Blossom will also reach out to community champions and community organizations. Please feel free to contact us at Collaboration Support – Mike Fabrizi email@example.com|
|Q||How do I get my location and broadband speeds on the map?|
|A||To get started, there is a simple web-form and instructions provided for your use. It is located here.|
|Q||What are free high level mapping services, and elective services?|
|A||We will make available to any person or organization, the public digital broadband map, high level upload and download speeds and GIS location data at no cost. If you would like elective services such as customized maps, or would like to add other GIS data or IoT data, or any other kind of custom service, we will provide those elective services on a sliding scale fee basis. Or, if you would like additional grant or research support, high level grant or research support will be available at no cost, more detailed or in-depth grant or research work will be provided on a sliding scale fee basis. Please feel free to contact us at:
Collaboration Support – Mike Fabrizi firstname.lastname@example.org
“First, I want to sincerely thank you for attending Wednesday’s Mapping the St. Louis Digital Divide meeting. I am enthusiastic that, by working together, we can make our city the place we need it to be for all who live here. Per the introduction from my friend and colleague, Mr. David Sandel, I am pleased to serve our community as a non-paid, third-party facilitator and coordinator. This is a role not unlike that in which I served during my 30-year career in the public sector. I will work with you to help determine your needs”.
Technical Support – email@example.com
|Q||What other materials are available?|
|A||The following materials are presently available:|