16 BTOP Projects Honored as Broadband “Heroes”

Sixteen projects funded through NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) will be honored tonight for being selected as 2013 Computerworld Honor Laureates. They’ll each receive medallions inscribed with the Computerworld Honors Program’s mission, “A Search for New Heroes,” at the Computerworld Honors Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.  

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded NTIA programs selected are: California Emerging Technology Fund; City of Boston; City and County of San Francisco; Clackamas County; Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology (SBI grant); Government of DC; Horizon Telcom; Internet2; MCNC; Merit Network; Northwest Open Access Network; Ohio Academic Resources Network (subrecipient); OneCommunity; School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida; Technology for All; and the Youth Policy Institute.

In its 25th year, the Computerworld Honors Program recognizes achievements in 11 award categories. The Recovery Act-funded BTOP and State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant recipients selected as Laureates are honored in seven of these categories: Collaboration, Economic Development, Emerging Technology, Human Services, Innovation, Mobile Access, and Philanthropy. This year, 22 judges selected 269 Laureates from more than 700 nominations, representing 29 countries.

Recognition by the Computerworld Honors Program emphasizes the impact NTIA’s broadband programs are already having in communities across the country. Our award recipients are bridging the digital divide and their long-term impacts are undeniable. It is our hope that the grants will continue to empower and enable our recipients to move broadband forward through increased access to computers and broadband services. As of March 2013, our recipients have:

  • Deployed enough miles of broadband infrastructure to cross the United States more than 30 times.
  • Enabled broadband service to more than half a million households.
  • Provided nearly 14 million hours of training. That’s more than 1,500 years of classes.

In each of the award categories, judges looked at innovation in technology — innovative developments, uses, creations, and applications. What these awards celebrate, in addition to past achievements, is forward thinking. Below are just a few examples of our nominated recipients and how their efforts are changing the broadband landscape:

The City of Boston (Public Computer Center and Sustainable Broadband Adoption) is honored in the Economic Development category, which recognizes organizations for the innovative use or development of IT to create, enable, improve or expand business and job opportunities. The City of Boston provides training for low-income families with children, unemployed individuals lacking digital skills, and seniors living in Boston Housing Authority sites.

The Youth Policy Institute (YPI) is honored in the Human Services category, which recognizes organizations for the innovative use of IT to effectively develop or deliver public programs that provide food and nutrition, housing, transportation, mental health or other social service to populations in need. YPI has installed 80 public computer centers in the Los Angeles area in less than two years and, in the process, developed best practices that can be adopted by organizations that wish to establish similar services in their own communities.

Clackamas County, Oregon, is honored in the Economic Development category. Clackamas County is building the Clackamas Broadband Express (CBX) network, 180 miles of broadband fiber infrastructure. This infrastructure allows existing businesses to participate and compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida (M-DCPS) is honored in the Philanthropy category, which recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions of one or more goods or services to a needy cause. M-DCPS partners with non- and for-profit organizations to provide computers, Internet service, and multilingual digital literacy training in English, Spanish, and Haitian-Creole for low-income students and their families. M-DCPS provides access to innovative technologies with limited budget dollars and is creating best practices for how to replicate this program in other school districts facing similar challenges.

Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet) is honored in the Economic Development category. NoaNet is bringing broadband access to 170 rural communities across Washington state by improving the backbone that serves rural communities. This expansion will transform Washington’s high-speed broadband infrastructure and secure the state’s economic future by reducing government costs, educating young people, and creating business opportunities for generations to come. NoaNet is also future proofing the network for the next decade and beyond by laying the fiber groundwork to support speeds of 400 Gbps and greater.

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