Sustainable Adoption $1,212,020

The City of Tallahassee plans to implement a two-part strategy to utilize broadband technology to enhance workforce skills, educational opportunities, and digital literacy among low-income, low-literacy residents in economically depressed, underserved areas of the city. The Apalachee Ridge Technology Learning Center Broadband Initiative first plans to launch a workforce development program using computer-based career training, job skills courses, and online tutoring. Second, it plans to provide an online broadband accessibility curriculum for K-12 students aimed at increasing critical thinking, digital literacy, e-learning, and research skills.

Through Apalachee Ridge’s Digital Harmony Program, the project also intends to train middle school students to refurbish computers in partnership with Florida State University, while offering low-cost broadband services to low-income community members and refurbished computers to at-risk students and their families.

Sustainable Adoption $14,988,657

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.

Public Computer Centers $1,477,722

The three-county region of northern Florida targeted by Florida A&M University has poverty and unemployment rates well above the state and national averages, and many residents lack the 21st century skills necessary for industry certifications and job preparation. The FAMU Enterprise Information Technology Division and the FAMU Department of Workforce Education and Development propose to establish a new Center for Public Computing and Workforce Development on the Florida A&M campus to serve the public of Tallahassee and surrounding Gadsden and Jefferson Counties. The center also plans to serve as a resource to other public computing centers in the region.
Florida A&M’s Small Business Development Center plans to provide business development training and counseling services through videoconferencing technology, and offer workshops to small businesses with an emphasis on minorities, women, and veterans. The project aims to develop and expand its instructional capacity through an aggressive “Train the Trainer” workshop program, which includes working with Florida’s Small Business Development Agency to create training content and identify and recruit trainers.

Broadband Data & Development $8,877,028

Project Components

State Capacity Building:

The Florida Department of Management Services (DMS) will establish a broadband programs office to lead collaborative efforts in broadband capacity building across local, regional, and state public and private institutions. The broadband programs office will include a grant development team and an E-rate program team. The E-rate team will provide direct support to eligible community anchor institutions so that Florida can best leverage available funding opportunities. The grant development team will provide technical assistance to organizations across the state that are seeking to increase broadband access and adoption in their communities.

Technical Assistance:

The Library Connectivity Assessment project will deploy technology teams to provide a hardware and network assessment to 180 Florida public libraries in rural and underserved communities. A similar pilot program led to a number of simple network configuration solutions that, when implemented, improved the speed of the community anchor institutions’ broadband service. The technology team will also work with each library to provide recommendations for addressing larger, systematic problems.

Local Regional Technology Planning Teams:

In partnership with Florida’s 11 Regional Planning Councils (RPCs), DMS will develop and sustain regional planning teams that will be integrated into the current work of the RPCs. The RPCs will inventory and document local broadband assets, document broadband demand through an inclusive process that draws residents and institutional actors, and develop a comprehensive regional plan.

Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:

This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.

Infrastructure $23,693,665

Large portions of the northwestern and south-central regions of Florida have been designated by the Governor as Rural Areas of Critical Economic Concern (RACECs) due to a disparity in income and access to education and healthcare services. Community anchor institutions in these RACECs often lack the necessary broadband infrastructure to thrive in the modern economy. The Florida Rural Broadband Alliance’s Florida Rural Middle Mile Networks project proposes to deploy an 1,800-mile microwave-based middle-mile network across two of Florida’s three RACECs to support and improve healthcare, educational opportunities, library services, economic development, and public safety services. The Florida Rural Broadband Alliance brings together multiple local and tribal governments, economic development agencies, and commercial partners in a collaborative effort to address the unmet broadband needs of this area of the state.

Infrastructure $2,066,250

The Expanding Broadband Access Across Florida project proposes to build seven new access points on Level 3’s existing broadband network to enable last mile providers to offer affordable high-speed services to underserved areas. The additional points of interconnection will offer broadband speeds between 50 Mbps and 10 Gbps on an open and nondiscriminatory basis to last mile Internet service providers. Similar to on-ramps to the interstate highway system, these points of interconnection will enable last mile providers to transport data to the Internet backbone and provide affordable service to anchor institutions, homes, and businesses. The project could enhance broadband capabilities for as many as 180,000 households, 12,300 businesses, and 100 community anchor institutions, including schools, government agencies, and healthcare providers.

Infrastructure $30,142,676

The Ubiquitous Middle Mile project plans to bring high-speed broadband services to underserved areas in 14 North Central Florida counties through the deployment of a 1,200-mile fixed wireless broadband network which will enhance economic development, education, and public services throughout the region. The network plans to directly connect more than 300 community anchor institutions at speeds of 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps. These anchor institutions include public schools, universities, libraries, healthcare facilities, public safety organizations, and government agencies.. The project, which was jointly created by the area’s local governments, will utilize 128 existing wireless towers and sites, and is designed to withstand the weather hazards endemic to the region.

Sustainable Adoption $18,701,771
Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio

The Connect Your Community (CYC) project intends to use an innovative and collaborative strategy to expand broadband adoption by almost 20,000 households in targeted communities in five states. Expanding on successful existing Cleveland-area programs, OneCommunity plans to work with non-profit and community organizations to implement neighbor-to-neighbor broadband adoption and awareness campaigns reaching 334,000 low-income individuals and to provide training and services to 33,000 people in Akron, Cleveland, and Zanesville, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Gulfport/Biloxi, Mississippi; Lexington, Kentucky; and Bradenton, Florida. Grant funds will enable project partners, including Urban League centers, libraries, schools, economic development agencies, and human service and housing organizations, to host computer classes and utilize online resources to fulfill their missions. The project plans to employ survey techniques to measure broadband adoption among program participants and track the program’s success over time.

Sustainable Adoption $28,519,482

The 21st Century Information and Support Ecosystem project proposes to implement a comprehensive program of computer training, wireless Internet access, broadband awareness marketing, and online content and applications to residents of 159 affordable and public housing developments and low-income communities in 50 cities and towns across 31 states and the District of Columbia. The project plans to implement four principal programs: training 2,500 youth to become “Digital Connectors” who will then provide digital literacy training to others in their communities; deploying localized broadband networks in public housing developments; developing online content and applications aimed at low-income, low-literacy audiences.

Sustainable Adoption $3,473,498

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools-Get Connected-Go Global project proposes to increase broadband adoption among low-income middle school students and their families by providing training, discounted computers, Internet service, and awareness campaigns targeting vulnerable communities. Miami-Dade County recently introduced a student/parent portal to enable parents to monitor their children’s academic progress and communicate more easily with their teachers and schools. To ensure all families can utilize the tool, in 35 schools with the highest need, the project plans to offer 60,000 hours of computer training to 30,000 students and their parents, provide low-cost refurbished laptops to 6,000 students and their families, and offer discounted Internet service to 10,000 families. A county-wide, bilingual print, broadcast, and online campaign intends to reach 700,000 residents and build awareness of the educational, job, and health benefits of being connected to broadband technology. The project expects to increase broadband adoption by an estimated 15,000 households, and plans to track adoption rates over time using focus groups, a teacher-parent online portal, surveys, and feedback from broadband providers.

Sustainable Adoption $2,131,322

The goal of the Tampa Housing Authority’s project is to create “technologically smart communities” within 23
public housing sites in order to increase the employability and life circumstances of residents. The AccessALL
Tampa project plans to initiate subsidized broadband service to the public housing sites and offer on-site certified
computer technician training and basic Internet, job search, GED, and ESL classes. The project also intends to
implement a pilot program in which touch-screen computers are installed in almost 200 households in “self
sufficiency communities,” which are communities partnering with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development to enhance residents’ employability. An additional 2,000 households participating in training will be
offered discounted computers.

Infrastructure $62,540,162

As part of a longstanding project to connect essential community anchor institutions across the country, and facilitate closer collaboration and long-term benefits for education, research, healthcare, public safety, and government services, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) proposes a comprehensive 50-state network benefitting approximately 121,000 community anchors. The project proposes a large-scale, public-private partnership to interconnect more than 30 existing research and education networks, creating a dedicated 100-200 Gbps nationwide fiber backbone with 3.2 terabits per second (TBps) total capacity that would enable advanced networking features such as IPv6 and video multicasting. The project plans to connect community anchors across all disciplines into virtual communities with shared goals and objectives, including colleges, universities, libraries, major veterans and other health care facilities, and public safety entities, with additional benefits to tribes, vulnerable populations, and government entities.

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BroadbandUSA serves as a strategic advisor to state and local government, industry and non-profits to expand broadband capacity and promote digital inclusion.
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