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Independence County Broadband Expansion

Independence County Broadband Expansion Independence County has initiated the formation of a broadband committee in an effort to maximize the potential of providing broadband access to county residents. In partnership with the Arkansas State Broadband Office, county committees will communicate with residents to ensure accuracy of broadband coverage maps, communicate progress of funding and service expansion opportunities, and assess digital skills and opportunities.
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Independence County Broadband Expansion Committee

The Honorable Kevin Jeffery, Independence County Judge
Hal Vandiver, Retired
John Bradley, White River Health
Dr. Brian Shonk, University of Arkansas - Batesville
Brandon Dayberry, White River Services & Solutions
Jessica Angel, Batesville School District/Save the Children
Jamie Rayford, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce

AR Connect - Arkansas State Broadband Office

AR Rural Connect (ARC) - A grant program designed to expand the broadband footprint in rural Arkansas communities.

Connect K-12 - A free tool that aggregates, analyzes, and visualizes E‑rate data, so you don’t have to.

August 2023

  • In partnership with the Arkansas State Broadband Office, the committee recently assisted stakeholders in completing the Digital Skills and Opportunity Survey to collect additional information on how and why people use the internet, including challenges they experience and the resources that would be helpful to them in the future. With the help of partners, ASBO collected 12,532 surveys statewide to inform the Digital Skills & Opportunity Plan (Fall 2023). 

September 2023:

The Arkansas State Broadband Office (ARConnect) submitted the state’s Five-Year Action Plan to the U.S. Department of Commerce/National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on August 28, 2023. This plan provides a broad overview of how the state will eliminate the digital divide in Arkansas by 2028 and provides a foundation for Arkansas’ forthcoming BEAD Initial Proposal.

The Five-Year Action Plan provides an analysis of existing broadband assets and digital opportunity programming in the state, and how funding through the BEAD program can mitigate gaps that exist.

ARConnect invites you to read through the plan and learn more about Governor Sanders’ vision to eliminate the digital divide in Arkansas by 2028.

  • Asset Map Communication Partners

  • Develop Framework for Internet Service Provider (ISP) Meetings

October - December 2023

  • Finalize Framework for ISP Meetings

  • Release ISP Meeting Opportunity and Discussion Guide

  • Begin ISP Meetings

  • Public Comment period for the Five Year Action Plan

  • Arkansas Broadband Leader Network Meetings Reviewing State Plans & Introducing the Broadband Equity Access Deployment Program Challenge Process

January 2023

  • Continue ISP Meetings

  • Arkansas Office of Broadband Meeting in Independence County 
  • Presentations to Local Government & Elected Officials 

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