Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.
Island Telephone and Engineering (IT&E) plans to expand high-capacity broadband services to the Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by upgrading the existing network serving remote and underserved areas. The project intends to upgrade local island backbone infrastructure and replace the existing inter-island transmission system, utilizing fiber, 3G wireless, and WiMax technology. The project expects to directly connect 403 anchor institutions, including community colleges, K-12 schools, libraries, health care facilities, and public-safety organizations. Network speeds from 1.2 Gbps for microwave to 10 Gbps for fiber service will be offered, enabling government agencies, schools, and businesses in these remote island locations to benefit from videoconferencing and other advanced broadband capabilities.