Broadband Announcements by the White House and NTIA

January 20, 2015

On January 14th President Obama announced a number of steps to help more Americans get access to fast, affordable and reliable broadband. This announcement builds upon the federal government’s $4 billion stimulus fund investment under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to build network infrastructure, establish public computer centers, and develop digital literacy training to expand broadband adoption. An independent study, conducted by ASR Analytics and released in conjunction with the President’s announcement, shows that the BTOP grants are projected to increase economic output by as much as $21 billion annually.

The Urban Affairs Coalition received $11.8M under the BTOP program as one of the lead partners--in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia, Drexel University, and over 50 community-based organization—for KEYSPOT powered by the Freedom Rings Partnership. This collaboration launched over 80 KEYSPOTS, or public computing centers; provided computer training to over 25,000 participants; and connected over 6,000 low-income households to internet in their homes. UAC was one of a select groups of organizations chosen as a Case Study for ASR’s independent evaluation. ASR’s Case Study of UAC found: “The project focused on the most economically and socially vulnerable populations in Philadelphia: at-risk youth, ex-offenders, public housing residents, seniors, the homeless, and people living with HIV/AIDS. By taking a collaborative and community-based approach, the UAC partnership experienced success in connecting these residents to resources to improve their quality of life. The partnership has also realized success in fostering capacity building and best practice sharing among local nonprofit organizations.”