Information Institute Releases Reports of Broadband Needs Assessments for the NFBA Ubiquitous Middle Mile Project and the FRBA Northwest and South Central Regions Project

The Information Use Management & Policy Institute (Information Institute) of the Florida State University, College of Communication & Information, School of Library & Information Studies has been conducting needs assessment, diagnostics, and benchmarking for the North Florida Broadband Authority (NFBA) and the Florida Rural Broadband Alliance, LLC (FRBA) to perform several activities in support of their multi-million dollar middle mile projects for which the NFBA and FRBA haveobtained funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).


The Information Institute has been conducting several activities to achieve a more thorough understanding of how anchor institutions (e.g., libraries, schools, community colleges, local government agencies, and hospitals) within the North Central, Northwest, and South Central Florida Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern (RACEC) currently use broadband technology, as well as to achieve an understanding of the factors that might impact the anchor institutions’ decisions to adopt the high-speed broadband services offered by the project.

 The final report for the NFBA and fourth interim report for the FRBA, written by Charles R. McClure, PhD, Lauren H. Mandel, Nicole D. Alemanne, Jeff Saunders, Laura I. Spears, and Bradley Wade Bishop, provide overviews of the complete needs assessment projects, conclusions, recommendations, and areas for future research.  The FRBA project will be extended into 2012 to conduct community-based broadband planning in one community in the Northwest and one community in the South Central RACEC.


The reports offer a number of findings and recommendations.  One of the most significant findings is that key ingredients that will shape the success of these new high-speed broadband networks will be the provision of significantly increased instruction and education, community-based broadband planning, and community awareness of high-speed broadband deployment, access and use—especially in areas such as using high-speed broadband to support economic development.


For more information on the NFBA project, and to review the abstract and reports, visit; for more informationon the FRBA project, and to review the abstract and reports, visit