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 email@example.com 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.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.