At an event in Washington, D.C. yesterday, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling described the progress of broadband stimulus projects, noting that Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grantees have thus far installed more than 4,000 computers for public use and provided computer training to more than 65,000 people.
“These Recovery Act projects are already providing an essential link to economic and educational opportunities for thousands of Americans,” said Strickling.
Strickling said that BTOP grantees deploying infrastructure projects have already entered into approximately 90 interconnection agreements with other Internet service providers, which will enable these additional providers to connect to the new infrastructure in order to more affordably expand their own broadband service to local homes and small businesses.
“BTOP’s ‘open’ networks allow us to maximize the impact of Recovery Act dollars and spur additional private sector investment,” he said.
Speaking at an event hosted by the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition, Strickling cited data in NTIA’s recently launched National Broadband Map showing that most community anchor institutions, such as schools and libraries, do not have broadband service at fast enough speeds.
“These findings validate BTOP’s focus on addressing the broadband needs of community anchor institutions so that they can harness the power of broadband to improve education, health care, and public safety.”
Strickling also told the audience, comprised largely of BTOP grantees, of the agency’s vigorous oversight plans, including site visits, to ensure BTOP projects “are completed on time, within budget, and deliver the promised benefits to the communities they serve.”