May 6, 2009 By Wayne Hanson
"Through mobile technology, information will now be available on demand from your smart phone." -- Arkansas State CTO Claire Bailey (pictured)
Arkansas.gov, announced the release of "Arkansas.gov Recovery Project Search" -- to help search for state projects funded by ARRA funds, including a mobile application, an iPhone application and a Youtube video that shows how the iPhone application works. According to the state, Arkansas is the first state government in the nation to develop and release such an application. "One of our goals with state technology efforts," said state CTO Claire Bailey, "is to ensure we are easily accessible for all Arkansans. Through mobile technology, information will now be available on demand from your smart phone,"
Maine Gov. John E. Baldacci and the ConnectME Authority recently announced the third grant round -- estimated at more than $1 million -- of the broadband expansion funding program. The Authority is looking for creative solutions for expanding affordable broadband service to the unserved areas of Maine. Eligible applicants are municipalities, co-ops, community groups and broadband service providers. For this round, the Authority is requesting smaller, more focused proposals than in previous grant rounds, with a suggested grant limit for each project of $100,000, funding no more than 50 percent of the total project, while recognizing the need for flexibility for exceptional proposals. Interested applicants are asked to submit brief, pre-application letters describing a project or projects by June 1, 2009.
New York State CIO Dr. Melodie Mayberry-Stewart, who chairs the New York State Council for Universal Broadband announced the release of the first New York State Universal Broadband Annual Report prepared by the Council. "Broadband telecommunications is critical to urban and rural communities to improve the economic competitiveness of New York State," said Mayberry-Stewart. "Our accomplishments reflect the important work put forth by our public and private partners to advance Governor David A. Paterson's vision of affordable broadband access for all New Yorkers."
Delaware County, Pa., libraries are connecting eight branches to a fiber-optic network at a cost of about $200,000, but 17 branches are still unconnected. According to the American Library Association, that's fairly typical. The library association is trying to convince the federal agencies in charge of doling out stimulus grants that libraries are the best way to extend high-speed service to the public. The group released a survey Tuesday in which nearly 60 percent of libraries said their Internet connections couldn't meet bandwidth demands at peak hours. At the same time, 70 percent said they are the only source of free Internet access in their communities.
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.