A key feature of DoITT's broadband strategy is working to secure stimulus funds for the benefit of New York City residents, businesses and visitors.
In 2010, DoITT secured approximately $42 million- more than any other city or state- as part of approximately $4.7 billion made available through the federal government's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) provides resources to expand broadband access and use across the U.S. in underserved communities. To date, more than 300,000 New Yorkers have benefitted from these programs across all five boroughs.
Specifically, these funds support the City's efforts to increase public access to and adoption of broadband technologies through public computer centers, school programs, and expansion of WiFi in public places. The funds have been divided among the following programs:
NYC Connected Learning has served more than 23,000 low-income sixth grade students and 50,000 public school household members with free computers, discounted broadband service, high-quality digital educational resources and digital literacy training to boost broadband adoption and educational outcomes over the last three academic years. During its program period, NYC Connected Learning has served 72 schools. ($22 million)
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NYC Connected Communities significantly expands the availability of public computer centers in high poverty areas. Investing in libraries, public housing facilities, senior centers and community centers across the five boroughs, the program serves more than 30,000 new users weekly. More than 100 centers have been opened or upgraded as a result of NYC Connected Communities, including one mobile center, and 1,783 computer workstations have been installed. NYC Connected Communities offers an array of new resources for digital literacy, employment support and other critical services. ($14 million)
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NYC Connected Foundations provides over-age, under-credited students at 66 of the City's public high schools with free computers, comprehensive digital literacy training, and access to discounted broadband service. Over the last two years, the program has provided 5,160 students with these resources. Through a new, credit-bearing "Connected Foundations" course (also known as "DIG/IT"), the program facilitates sustainable adoption of broadband, and aids students in the transition to a post-secondary pathway. ($6 million)
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