The Connected Nation Blog: September 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Connected Nation Provides FCC with Teleworking Research

In a recent public notice, the Federal Communication Commission said that broadband is “transforming the way we work, enabling employees to work wherever and, often, whenever.”

That includes opportunities for the nearly 35 million that are eager to telework, according to Connected Nation research recently filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

Also, according to Connected Nation’s research,

  • An estimated 17.5 million Americans who do not currently work would join the country’s workforce if given the opportunity to telework through a broadband connection. This includes more than 3.9 million retirees, 2.4 million homemakers and approximately 3.9 million adults with disabilities who report that teleworking would make employment compatible with their lives.

Connected Nation applauds the FCC in its recognition that home broadband service is not only a means of entertainment, but also a vital tool to empower America’s 21st century workforce. Connected Nation’s research has shown that teleworking can provide new opportunities for the American workforce, but to do so, home broadband availability and adoption must both increase in order to realize the full potential growth.

Connected Nation filed this research and other comments with the FCC, providing valuable information on the financial, personal, educational and environmental impacts of teleworking.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly nine out of ten teleworkers rely on a broadband connection to work from home, and the broadband connection speeds of teleworkers are significantly higher than the average broadband user.
  • The increased income earnings of these 17.5 million potential new teleworkers is estimated at $739 billion annually, including an additional $163 billion for retirees, $103 billion for homemakers and an additional $166 billion for adults with disabilities.
  • With the addition of a potential 17.5 million newly employed teleworking Americans, net federal revenue is estimated to increase by more than $256 billion annually – and this accounts only for income tax revenue, social security revenue and federal disability savings.
  • CO2 emissions are expected to drop by an additional 105 billion pounds a year if those interested in teleworking had the opportunity to do so. When combined with the emissions reductions from current teleworkers, this is more than the CO2 emissions produced by every passenger car in the states of New York and California each year.
  • Nationally, teleworkers save approximately $5.7 billion annually in fuel alone. If every American worker who would like to telework were enabled to do so, that would result in additional fuel savings of nearly $13.6 billion per year for these Americans. Such a reduction in fuel consumption will significantly contribute to the national goal of energy independence.

To view the entire filing, click here .

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids shows power of technology at home

Audrey Carey was born and raised in Gallatin, Tennessee but moved to Atlanta several years ago with her four children.

After living there for five years, Audrey was called at work one day that her home had caught on fire. Her children were home, and thankfully, no one was hurt. The house, however, was destroyed.

Audrey and her kids lost everything and were forced to move from place to place until finally settling into a shelter. Not long after that, Audrey packed up her four kids and all their belongings and moved home.

The day after commenting to her mother about how badly she needed a computer for her kids, Audrey received a letter in the mail from her Department of Human Services case manager telling her she would soon be receiving a brand new computer from
Connected Tennessee’s Computers 4 Kids program.

She had been selected based on her outstanding performance in the DHS Families First program, a program that emphasizes work, training and personal responsibility. “My kids started jumping up and down,” she said.

Today Audrey is working at a nursing home, attending night school to obtain her GED, and preparing for massage therapy school. And, thanks to her new computer, Audrey’s daughter was recently able to perform research to win an essay contest that won her a $500 prize.

For Audrey and others benefiting from Connected Tennessee’s Computer 4 Kids program, a home computer and the subsequent use of broadband in their home can change their lives.

Connected Nation, we recently announced a partnership called Every Citizen Online (SM) which will sponsor these kinds of computer donations and literacy education throughout the United States.

To learn more about Every Citizen Online (SM),
click here.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Small Businesses in Ohio Benefit From Expanded Broadband Access

From left, Phil Taylor demonstrates some of the facets of his small business, Taylor Made Countertops, to Gallia County Commissioners President Justin Fallon, Governor’s Office of Appalachia Director Fred Deel, AT&T Director of External Affairs B.J. Smith, and Kingsley Meyer of the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College.

Elizabeth Rigel/photo, with permission

Taylor Made Countertops sits along Ohio 141 near Patriot, Ohio in Gallia County. Owner Phil Taylor purchases solid surface, an acrylic material used to make his custom countertops, from an out-of-state manufacturer that has increasingly moved its sales online and even offers discounts for buyers who purchase over the internet, according to an article in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune.

However, Taylor openly admitted in an article in the Gallipolis Daily Tribune that using the Internet, in it current dial-up state, just isn’t worth the effort.

“Dial-up (Internet) takes so long that I don’t usually have time to do it,” Taylor told the Gallipolis Daily Tribune.

However, Taylor and others in the communities of Cheshire, Mercerville, Patriot and Vinton in Gallia County and Arabia-Waterloo in Lawrence County, won’t have to worry about slow-dial up speeds, thanks to a recent public-private partnership between the state of Ohio and AT&T, according to the article.
Connect Ohio, a Connected Nation initiative, also contributed to the effort.

Thanks to this partnership, residents within three miles of central locations in Gallia and Lawrence County can now hook in to these connections. Four broadband packages are available for purchase, ranging from approximately $20 to $35 in cost per month.

This is just one example of the power of ubiquitous broadband. The work of Connected Nation and its state-based initiatives continually strives to form public-private partnerships in an effort to ensure all Americans have access to high-speed Internet for all areas their lives.

To learn more about our work, visit

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Connect Colorado Launches Website to Promote Universal Broadband Access Across State

Denver, Colorado – The Governor’s Office of Information Technology has partnered with Connected Nation, a national 501(c)3, to launch a website for its comprehensive broadband mapping initiative titled Connect Colorado. The site is designed to assess current broadband availability across the state, highlighting those areas that are presently unserved by a broadband provider. The website ( allows for consumer feedback and broadband validation.

Current broadband subscribers can test the speed of their connections and describe how broadband has impacted their lives. For those who don’t currently have broadband access, the site offers visitors the ability to add their name and address to a secure database of households that would like to subscribe if given the opportunity. The information collected on the website will validate the broadband inventory maps created with broadband provider data. The inventory maps will inform Colorado’s next steps to deliver broadband to all residents across the state. The federal stimulus bill may be a potential source for funds to enhance broadband availability.

“Colorado’s economy depends on a strong technology infrastructure in every region of our state, and this website offers Colorado citizens the opportunity to be an essential part of the data collection process,” said Michael Locatis, State Chief Information Officer. “We hope that all citizens will contribute meaningful information.”

The feedback from the website will assist in shaping the broadband inventory maps set to be released in November 2009.

Colorado is one of several states working with Connected Nation to map service availability and support a state broadband expansion. Public-private partnerships have proven to be an effective model for expanding the availability of broadband and increasing computer literacy and Internet use. Through its extensive work, Connected Nation has proven that states and communities can realize a significant economic impact if broadband is universally available and is being adopted into homes at high rates.

Broadband infrastructure investments have shown to stimulate the economy and lead to job growth and are critical for the delivery of healthcare and education, civic engagement, and a host of other important areas.

Download the press release here.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Connected Texas Launches Web site to Solicit Citizen Feedback About Broadband

AUSTIN– Today, the Texas Department of Agriculture and Connected Nation launched a Web site for Texas’ comprehensive broadband mapping initiative. The site is designed to collect information from Texans to help identify current broadband availability across the state and highlight areas that are currently unserved by a broadband provider. The Web site,, allows for consumer feedback and broadband validation.

View Press Release

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Connected Nation Submits No Bid Response for Kentucky Broadband Mapping RFP

Today, Connected Nation, a national nonprofit and parent company of ConnectKentucky, submitted a no bid response to the Kentucky Commonwealth Office of Technology’s request for proposal (RFP) for broadband mapping due to the impracticable timeline set forward in the RFP.

Kentucky’s RFP for broadband mapping calls for a submission of a substantially complete dataset by Nov. 1, 2009, a full three months earlier than the timeline laid out in the federal guidelines in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program. With the subsequent RFP approval process, this timeline leaves less than 60 days to collect data and produce a map, in order to take advantage of currently avaliable broadband mapping stimulus funds.

Consequently, Connected Nation’s wealth of experience in creating broadband maps shows that this timeline is simply unrealistic.

“Connected Nation through ConnectKentucky remains committed to working with partners and communities across Kentucky to expand technology availability to the people and places that need it most,” said Brian R. Mefford, Connected Nation’s chairman and CEO. “We wish the Commonwealth well and hope for its success in meeting their goals as solicited in the broadband mapping RFP.”

ConnectKentucky has a long-standing history of broadband mapping and working with state agencies, communities, citizens and broadband providers across Kentucky to expand broadband availability. Numerous letters of support for ConnectKentucky’s programs can be viewed

ConnectKentucky will continue to maintain and foster these relationships, all the while working closely with partners to increase technology availability across the state.

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