About Broadband Rhode Island

Broadband Rhode Island (BBRI) is an initiative of the RI Department of Digital Excellence that works to create new opportunities by expanding broadband use and digital literacy across Rhode Island. 

One of BBRI's programs is to map and verify broadband throughout Rhode Island. BBRI is funded through December 2014 by the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Our programs address public awareness and education about broadband and study and develop plans to increase broadband adoption and usage across all aspects of our lives including in our homes, schools, businesses, libraries, healthcare facilities, public safety and government.

Broadband Rhode Island is not the only organization in the state that has benefitted from broadband-related grants. Three organizations—the Rhode Island Broadband Trifecta—are working simultaneously to improve the state's cyberinfrastructure and adoption/use. In addition to BBRI's efforts, OSHEAN (Ocean State Higher Education Economic Development and Administrative Network) is deploying a 400(+) miles high-speed backbone throughout the state and Ocean State Libraries are adding 600 new computers and 12 mobile computing labs to the state's public computing resources.

To learn more about the RI Broadband Trifecta, download this PDF.


Facts about Broadband in Rhode Island

While Rhode Island is one of the leading states in terms of access to broadband, it’s important to remember that access is not the same thing as adoption. Just having the infrastructure doesn't mean that it's being used. Here are some important facts about Rhode Island’s broadband infrastructure and residents’ use of it:

    • Broadband is available to 97% of Rhode Island residents
    • Wireless broadband is available to 100% of residents
    • Cable Internet is available to 97% of residents
    • DSL is available to 89.5% or residents
    • Fiber service is available to 63.4% of residents
    • 83% of Rhode Islanders have at least 2 broadband provider choices
  • 29% of Rhode Islander households do not subscribe to the Internet at all
    • This percentage increases in urban areas 
  • Rhode Island is ranked 38th nationally in e-government services
  • There are over 900 Community Anchor Institutions (CAI) within the state
  • Over 400 miles of fiber has been installed throughout the state connecting over 100 CAI's through the OSHEAN network
  • T.F. Green airport is one of the few major U.S. airports with free Wi-Fi (Providence Business News)
  • The Warwick Station Redevelopment District that includes T.F Green Airport ranks No. 3 in the nation for broadband speed.
  • The Knowledge District, an innovation hub in the Capital City, ranks No. 4 in the nation just slightly behind Silicon Valley, Pittsburg and St. Paul.
  • The City of Newport might become the first RI Gigabit City. Through a series of stakeholders meetings, Newport is taking steps toward becoming a "historic high tech city".  
  • There are still pockets of Rhode Island that do not enjoy the benefits of high-speed broadband, like Block Island. With the new E-Rate reform and ConnectEd initiatives, New Shoreham is actively pursuing the establishment of a mainland connection.

To learn more about broadband in Rhode Island, watch our video on the BBRI Forum.

Broadband Rhode Island

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