2023 SAG Award Winners

South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff Broadband Office

Project Goal

SC Digital Drive (www.scdigitaldrive.org, SCDD) is the comprehensive broadband data repository for the State of South Carolina. It provides tools and resources to inform consumers and stakeholders. Broadband maps and statistics are available at state, county, and legislative district levels and interactive tools allow residents to lookup Internet Service Provider (ISP) data by entering their street address. In addition to informing stakeholders, this data provides the actionable intelligence that the SC Broadband Office (SCBBO) needs to rapidly pinpoint broadband investments as they work to deploy $400 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in unserved rural areas of South Carolina.
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Business Problem Solved

SCDD and the maps themselves are custom designed and rendered for different purposes. SCDD provides Best Available Technology, Areas of Need, Planning, Statistics, and Eligibility maps at statewide and county levels.

Of special mention, the Planning map shows the served areas of the state in Green, the unpopulated areas in white, housing counts in different colors, and funded areas in yellow and blue. Then, with the simple instruction to “find the freckles,” a county administrator is quickly able to see the areas in his or her county that need rapid investment to solve broadband challenges.

Primary contact with consumers is enabled through an “I Need Internet Survey.” With this tool, any resident can enter their street address and inform the SCBBO that they need help with service by completing the online survey. The SCBBO places a dot on the map for every completed survey and then uses the information to confirm the accuracy of provider-reported data.

Technology Implemented

SCDD was built using Esri® ArcGIS Hub. It features significant innovations, and has been featured prominently around the US including to the White House, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the US House Rural Broadband Task Force.

SCDD innovations include the presentation layer, broadband data model, interactive tools, map design, and surveys.

All maps, statistics and interactive tools are made possible by using the SCBBO’s broadband data model. Like a credit scoring system, the model blends data from multiple sources to deliver extremely accurate predictions of the level of Internet access in each census block in South Carolina.

The model is built using Microsoft SQL Server, thousands of lines of in-house developed SQL code, and it blends FCC, 11 million Ookla® Speedtest Intelligence® and 785,000 public K-12 student addresses to calculate results.

Development Team Biography

Jim Stritzinger, Director, SCBBO
Prior to joining ORS, he was the founder of a consulting firm that specialized in geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) and the deployment of high speed Internet in rural communities. He has been featured on NPR Marketplace Tech, was selected to speak at the IBM Think Conference (2019) and present to the US House Rural Broadband Task Force by Congressman James E. Clyburn. He was selected for publication in the Esri Map Book Vol. 36 (2021).

Michael Herzberger, Deputy Director, SCBBO
His focus is on serving as a connector, intent on solving problems and adding value working alongside public/private/NGO/academic partners to support this mission critical work for the citizens of South Carolina.

James Tanis, Sr. Data Scientist, SCBBO
Experienced GIS manager with a demonstrated history of working in state government. Skilled in ArcGIS, Spatial Analysis, Data Mapping, large data analysis, and JavaScript.