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The LinkIDAHO Initiative


Welcome to the LinkIDAHO website. Here you’ll find important news and resources related to our mapping and planning efforts.

Feel free to visit our site often for the latest in broadband-related news and resources.



Latest News

Funding for LinkIDAHO

Why LinkIDAHO?

Our Role in Addressing Broadband Challenges and Solutions



Latest News

  • We are excited to announce that the Idaho Bandwidth Assessment Tool (BAT) is now available for use.

    Those who participated in the BETA release of this tool may notice some changes in this version. The BAT now has two distinct survey paths -– one for residents and the other for businesses. This enables the LinkIDAHO team to utilize this tool more effectively for collecting broadband demand data.

    The next tool enhancement, which we expect to release in April 2014, will include a way to link supply with demand by introducing an avenue for providers to see where there is unmet demand across the state.

    Read more, download the webinar slides, view the recorded webinar and access the BAT survey by clicking here, or go directly to a brief video about BAT and take the survey by clicking on "Bandwidth Assessment Tool" in the menu on the right-hand side of this page.

  • In fall 2013, the University of Idaho, Office of Community Partnerships, McClure Center for Public Policy Research, in partnership with LinkIDAHO, surveyed a representative sample of households in Lemhi and Idaho counties. This region is typical of mountainous, sparsely populated areas of the state, providing insights into some of the challenges related to Internet use in Idaho's more rural counties.

    Click here to read more and access the survey report "Idaho at a Glance | Measuring Broadband II: Households."

  • Download the current list of Internet Service Providers who are actively participating in the LinkIDAHO broadband mapping efforts.

    Participating providers' advertised upload and download speeds, types of technology, coverage area and link to company website are included in the State Broadband Map and the National Broadband Map.

  • LinkIDAHO has launched a crowd-sourcing project to analyze mobile broadband performance across the state with special interest in rural areas. The goal of the project is to identify locations where broadband coverage for mobile devices needs to be improved.

    LinkIDAHO hopes you will join the effort by simply downloading the free network testing app on your smart phone or tablet to ensure your neighborhood is tested. You can find the app in the Apple Store and in Google Play by searching for “linkidaho”. The more we can learn about problematic network areas, the better we are able to address them.

    Read more, view a recent webinar describing the project, download the app, and learn how the app helps you and state planners.



Funding for LinkIDAHO

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 made funding possible for broadband projects, including mapping and planning, infrastructure, public computer centers and sustainable adoption programs. States' broadband mapping and planning projects are made possible through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) State Broadband Data and Development (SBDD) grant program.

In Nov. 2009, Idaho received an approximately $1.8 million grant to fund the State's SBDD project years 1-2. An additional $2.6 million grant was awarded in Sept. 2010 to fund project years 3-5.

This project will serve as a catalyst for increased access to and use of broadband to better serve our citizens. With ubiquitous broadband, we can realize improved economic development, access to education and health care, enhanced public safety, improved government efficiencies, increased tourism, greater access to telework opportunities and more.

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Why LinkIDAHO?

Through initial research, we understand there are many reasons Idahoans do not use broadband. Perhaps the most commonly cited barrier is access: broadband must be available in order to adopt it. Where broadband is available, barriers to adopting it include high subscription costs, lack of broadband-ready devices, low awareness of broadband uses and concerns about privacy and security on the Internet. Through community collaboration and regional planning, this project will address these issues and many more.

In order to address expansion of this technology, we must first have a clear picture of where broadband currently exists in the state, and thus where our gaps in coverage are. Following a thorough assessment and inventory of key Idaho assets, we have developed an online, interactive tool revealing our broadband footprint. This tool displays detailed maps of broadband coverage in both rural and urban areas throughout the state, as well as provides consumers with links to individual broadband providers in their area.

While consumers use this content to identify and order broadband services, it is equally important for policymakers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Policymakers can identify and address barriers to expansion. ISPs can identify gaps in coverage and an estimated cost to fill them.

Prior to this mapping project, we were unable to accurately articulate the levels of current and future demand for broadband services for Idaho businesses, households and community anchor institutions. By collecting and analyzing market data, we are able to profile county-specific broadband service demands and complete a geographic analysis of that demand relative to available infrastructure.

Another challenge LinkIDAHO addresses is the absence of coordinated regional leadership to plan and implement local sustainable adoption. In the initial two years of this program, we facilitated regional technology planning teams to develop effective, local strategies and regional broadband plans.

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Our Role in Addressing Broadband Challenges and Solutions

LinkIDAHO is not intended to replace or compete with other broadband efforts in our state, but rather to identify and work with new and existing projects that share our goal. Through collaboration, we can finally realize greater access to and use of broadband technologies to improve business opportunities and the quality of life for all Idahoans.

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