Rhode Island Commerce’s ConnectRI Program Launches First State Broadband Map and Challenge Process | Rhode Island Commerce

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Today, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s ConnectRI program announced the launch of the state’s first broadband map, which allows Internet Service Providers (ISPs), municipalities, residents, and businesses to view and challenge the quality of service in their locations across Rhode Island. The online map and state administered challenge process is a required part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program.


The public is encouraged to search their location using the online map. Locations are classified as “served,” “underserved,” or “unserved.” If an ISP, municipality, or nonprofit organization disagrees with a classification, they may then challenge it online. Locations must be described as unserved or underserved on the map at the end of the challenge process to be eligible for broadband infrastructure investment.

Rhode Islanders will have until June 28 to submit feedback and guidance is available in English and Spanish.

“I encourage all Rhode Islanders to provide feedback on our broadband map,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Only then will we be able to serve the unserved and properly serve the underserved which is paramount to our education and economic successes.”

“Whether you’re accessing online learning materials, creating a website for your business, or taking a telehealth appointment for your long-term care needs, access to broadband is essential for Rhode Islanders of all walks of life. By providing feedback on this map, the state will be able to ensure every household and business is able to fully connect to this essential utility,” said Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos.

“Access to reliable and affordable broadband service is a necessity for businesses and residents in our modern economy.” said Secretary of Commerce Liz Tanner. “With today’s announcement, we are encouraging honest feedback to ensure all Rhode Islanders, regardless of zip code, are connected to this vital resource.”

In June of 2023, Rhode Island was awarded $108.7 million by the NTIA to improve broadband infrastructure in the state. Rhode Island’s overarching vision and goal for statewide broadband and digital equity is to leverage a best-in-class, resilient, sustainable, and scalable broadband infrastructure to propel the state’s 21st century economic, education, healthcare, civic and social engagement, by ensuring all residents have access to affordable, accessible high-speed internet in their homes, at their places of employment, and at public facilities by 2027.

“Our ConnectRI team has been hard at work to ensure this federal funding is deployed efficiently and equitably.” said Brian Thorn, Director of Broadband Strategy. “We are one step closer to finalizing an accurate, well-informed map that will help us make the right investments in infrastructure and improved services across Rhode Island.”

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is charged with implementing the BEAD program within the State of Rhode Island and established the ConnectRI program to oversee and allocate federal broadband dollars from programs including BEAD, the Digital Equity Act (DEA, which NTIA administers), and the Capital Projects Fund (CPF, which the Department of the Treasury administers).