EBENSBURG, Pa., /PRNewswire/ -- As the federal government begins a second round of funding for broadband service expansion across the United States, L.R. Kimball and its LinkAMERICA partners are already setting the standard for broadband mapping in four states.

The alliance of four communications technology firms has gathered extensive mapping data for Alabama, Idaho, Wisconsin and Wyoming, each of which selected the LinkAMERICA team to lead its mapping efforts.

LinkAMERICA is a joint effort of L.R. Kimball, CostQuest Associates, e-Copernicus and VisionTech 360. The team works with state governments and municipalities to unlock broadband stimulus grants through independent broadband mapping and assessment. LinkAMERICA was the first non-governmental entity to receive broadband mapping grants from the federal National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA has set a March 31, 2010, deadline for the work in which LinkAMERICA and L.R. Kimball is currently engaged.

L.R. Kimball contributes many decades of expertise in spatial data and geographical information systems (GIS) to the broadband mapping projects that now are beginning to proliferate across the country. With its LinkAMERICA partners, L.R. Kimball is implementing an approach that is the first of its kind. The group is collecting data using Web-based systems, and is displaying all the information it gathers online, creating interactive tools that officials, companies and consumers can use across each state to view the services that each broadband provider offers in their areas.

LinkAMERICA is assembling data from a total of nearly 600 providers in the four states where it currently is working.

CostQuest is a globally recognized leader in geospatial, economic and network modeling. e-Copernicus , headed by former directors of NTIA and the federal Rural Utilities Service (RUS), is guiding the stewardship programs for the states to help them obtain broadband funding.

VisionTech 360 is carrying out the planning for Web access, combining research methodologies with Web applications.

Once the LinkAMERICA partners have completed the mapping data, each company will be available for consulting and implementation of broadband networks and systems, based on their deep understanding of telecommunications and of broadband specifically. The alliance is one of the few groups in America with experience in the broadband mapping arena, and its work is establishing innovative procedures to expedite mapping across the country.