For Immediate Release
June 22, 2000
Contact: Morrie Goodman (202)482-4883
Ranjit de Silva (202)482-7002
Art Brodsky (202)482-0019


Study is one of several Administration initiatives to close the digital divide.

WASHINGTON -- Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today announced the award of a $100,000 contract to the Center for Civic Networking of Friday Harbor, Wash., to study the sustainability of community networks, often the only means by which communities without access to information technologies can get information on health, public safety and community services.

The contract is one of several Clinton/Gore administration initiatives designed to help close the nation's digital divide, the gap between Americans with access and those without access to information technologies -- tools critical to economic success and professional advancement.

"Community-based organizations can help us achieve our goal of closing the technology gap because each community knows best how to reach and connect its citizens," Secretary Daley said in announcing the contract award. " Often, community networks are the only way communities without ready access to information technologies can access information on health, public safety, community services, or economic development," he said. "This project will provide crucial information on how to keep community networks viable," he said.

The project will focus on locally-based, non-profit or public sector entities specializing in public access networks supporting civic participation, community economic development, health and human service delivery, and the arts. Topics to be addressed include "Creating Demand Aggregation" and "Managing Organization Change," among others.

The contract, which was signed today, was awarded by Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The project's goal is to provide information about how existing community networks adjust to the changing environments in which they operate, thus helping them to remain effective and robust.

NTIA's Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) awards grants for model projects demonstrating innovative uses of network technology, and has accumulated a significant body of knowledge about the creation and management of network technology. The present contract is the fifth in a series of contracts awarded by TOP for research and evaluation on the diffusion of telecommunications and information technology applications in the public and non-profit sectors.

NTIA serves as the principal adviser to the executive branch on domestic and international telecommunications issues.

The Center for Civic Networking (CCN) is a non-profit organization.



Ranjit de Silva

Director, Public Affairs

National Telecommunications & Information Administration

U.S. Department of Commerce

14th & Constritution Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20230

Tel: (202) 482-7002

Fax : (202) 219-2077