Connecting rural America

Quality, reliable, and affordable broadband is foundational to rural America’s future. The need is well known, but building this essential infrastructure often comes with a host of local and place-specific challenges. We support public sector leaders confronting these challenges and working to connect the small towns and rural communities they call home.

We meet communities where they are in their process and offer mission-driven, partner-agnostic assistance. We bring our full expertise to closing broadband gaps across rural America. We not only help communities build this essential infrastructure — we also focus on building local rural leader capacity to support projects through to completion.

How we work with communities

Broadband pre-development and planning

We help communities understand the best way to facilitate the deployment of better broadband in their communities in a way that fits their goals and best serves community interests. This work can include: 

  • Mapping and geospatial work to identify unserved and underserved areas
  • Identifying grant and funding opportunities
  • Feasibility studies and business planning analyses
  • High-level network design
  • Conducting speed tests and market surveys
  • Financial modeling and scenario planning
people sitting together in a room

Implementation support

As independent consultants, we have no stake in who you use for construction, operations, or any other part of your network, and we don’t build or operate networks ourselves. As such, we are well positioned to offer unbiased support for communities transitioning from the feasibility phase to execution, including: 

  • Partnership formation 
  • Federal and state grant-writing support
  • RFP creation and vendor bid analysis
Two people working together over a laptop

Policy consultation and strategic planning

We work at the local and state levels across many rural regions of the country, and provide critical direction to facilitate efficient broadband deployment with appropriate oversight and enforcement. Our state- and regional-focused services include:

  • State-level policy analysis and broadband strategy creation
  • Broadband workforce gap analysis
  • Economic impact analyses
  • Grant program design
three people working together in an office space


Through an initiative called the Tennessee Rural Broadband Project, RISI delivered wide-ranging broadband technical assistance to at-risk and distressed counties, ultimately helping 13 of them secure $80.4M. in Broadband Expansion Grants.

Learn more

We are always looking to connect with new communities — reach out today

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