June 10, 2009 By Casey Mayville
The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), is intended to provide affordable broadband services to areas of the U.S. that are currently underserved, thus helping to close the digital divide. Financial help would also go to various institutions such as schools and health-care providers to allow for better educational and employment opportunities as well as enhanced service for health-care delivery.
New York City Councilwoman Gale Brewer is taking steps to alert the community and encourage local technology not-for-profit organizations to apply for federal technology funds. Organizations can contact Kunal Malhotra firstname.lastname@example.org and will be notified of any RFPs involving BTOP.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is administering the BTOP and is expected to release the rules and regulations in the upcoming Notice of Funds Availability (NoFA) by the end of June. For more details and information, a Webcast that aired June 4 is now available online.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.