In most of the metropolitan areas of Arizona there is sufficient core (fiber optic) infrastructure to support the ever increasing demand for Broadband speeds and declining prices. However, in some pockets of metro areas and widely through much of rural Arizona there is extremely limited core infrastructure and the availability of providers.
The Digital Arizona Program is committed to developing ever more accurate data on the availability and gaps in core infrastructure especially in rural communities; and to supporting providers and communities with tools for market analysis and demand aggregation possibilities that will justify investment in core infrastructure especially fiber-optic and point-to-point microwave back haul capacity. The program operates under the assumption that if sufficient wholesale back haul capacity is implemented into rural communities that regular market forces will handle cost effective distribution to residences, businesses, and community anchor institutions.
Through analysis, surveys, and speed tests in support of the Governor’s Office of Education Innovation (GOEI) and the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), the program has discovered that there is a significant shortfall in the provision of cost effective high-capacity Broadband access for Arizona rural schools and districts. This shortfall has left many schools not ready for the adoption of on-line based performance assessments and significantly restricted their ability to support on-line curricula and collaborative learning opportunities. Rural schools are “the tip of the spear” with regard to the problems Arizona must solve regarding better Broadband infrastructure.