Broadband’s ability to expand educational and employment opportunities is especially meaningful for Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, a community that faces unique challenges in education and that suffers from a rate of unemployment much higher than the national average. Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD) intends to expand broadband adoption among people who are deaf and hard of hearing and provide them with online tools to more fully participate in the digital economy. The project proposes to employ a combination of discounted broadband service and specialized computers, technology training from an online state-of-the art support center customized to the community’s needs, public access to videophones at anchor institutions from coast to coast, and a nationwide outreach initiative. Thousands will gain online access to all the Internet has to offer, including sign language interpreters, captioned video services, and other content and functionalities designed especially to advance their educational, employment, and healthcare interests.
District of Columbia
|Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc.||$14,988,657||Sustainable Adoption|
|DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer||$4,041,816||Broadband Data & Development|
|District of Columbia Government||$17,457,764||Infrastructure|
|District of Columbia Government||$4,196,777||Sustainable Adoption|
|Government of the District of Columbia||$1,553,310||Public Computer Centers|
|One Economy Corporation||$28,519,482||Sustainable Adoption|
|University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development||$62,540,162||Infrastructure|
With this funding, the District will be responsible for providing technical assistance to local institutions, working across governmental agencies to focus and resolve broadband related obstacles, and coordinating stakeholder activities across DC’s communities. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) office hosted a broadband summit with a portion of the original planning funds. With amendment funding, it will continue to host semiannual broadband summits over the life of the project.
Application Usage and Development:
This project will create a centralized online platform that will enable DC to deliver its existing e-learning content, including curriculum and video training, all of which currently resides in multiple formats and at numerous locations throughout the city. Once online, this content will be available for use by anyone, and OCTO will ensure that all training locations in DC are aware of its existence.
Data Collection, Integration, and Validation:
This project was originally funded for broadband planning activities and two years of data collection. In September of 2010, this project was amended to extend data collection activities for an additional three years and to identify and implement best practices.
The District of Columbia’s Community Access Network (DC-CAN) project plans to deploy a high-speed middle mile broadband infrastructure to provide direct Internet connections for community anchor institutions located predominantly in the city's economically distressed areas. Specifically, the project plans to serve approximately 190 anchor institutions, including four community colleges, 58 public safety entities, 38 schools, 23 libraries, and 64 health care facilities largely in Wards 5, 7, and 8, including the communities of Eckington, Kenilworth and Anacostia, which have unemployment rates substantially higher than the national average. DC-CAN proposes to upgrade and augment the District of Columbia’s existing 293-mile fiber network with over 170 new fiber miles and to provide anchor institutions and last mile broadband providers with speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
In a citywide analysis of broadband subscription rates, the District of Columbia found that the economically troubled neighborhoods in Wards 5, 7, and 8 have a broadband adoption rate of less than 40 percent. To drive demand for broadband in those areas, the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer plans to launch the DC-BETA project, which proposes to provide broadband-related outreach, digital literacy and workforce skills training, refurbished computers, and subsidized broadband access through resource centers located in those wards. The project’s partners intend to provide digital literacy training at eight libraries and three Community College of DC locations, complete with multimedia and technical certification programs. Upon successful completion of these training programs, participants will receive a refurbished computer and nine months of free wireless broadband service. The project also plans to conduct extensive surveys in the project’s service area to track the progress of participants and students over time.
The District of Columbia’s Community Computing Resources project (DC-CCR) proposes to mitigate the overcrowding and long wait times currently experienced at District libraries and recreation centers. The project, led by the DC Public Library, plans to serve the entire District but focus on economically vulnerable populations, especially seniors, students, the unemployed, and low-income residents largely in Wards 5, 7 and 8, in communities such as Eckington, Kenilworth, and Anacostia where broadband adoption rates are low. The DC-CCR project proposes to provide computer skills, job search, and Internet use training via current library staff, outside instructors, and local volunteer experts, while upgrading equipment and improving connectivity for public use at 24 public libraries and new computer centers in two recreation centers, three public schools, and one community college library. The project aims to increase access speeds at participating libraries up to 1 Gbps, which would also increase the capacity at Wi-Fi hotspots currently available to library patrons.
The 21st Century Information and Support Ecosystem project proposes to implement a comprehensive program of computer training, wireless Internet access, broadband awareness marketing, and online content and applications to residents of 159 affordable and public housing developments and low-income communities in 50 cities and towns across 31 states and the District of Columbia. The project plans to implement four principal programs: training 2,500 youth to become “Digital Connectors” who will then provide digital literacy training to others in their communities; deploying localized broadband networks in public housing developments; developing online content and applications aimed at low-income, low-literacy audiences.
As part of a longstanding project to connect essential community anchor institutions across the country, and facilitate closer collaboration and long-term benefits for education, research, healthcare, public safety, and government services, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID) proposes a comprehensive 50-state network benefitting approximately 121,000 community anchors. The project proposes a large-scale, public-private partnership to interconnect more than 30 existing research and education networks, creating a dedicated 100-200 Gbps nationwide fiber backbone with 3.2 terabits per second (TBps) total capacity that would enable advanced networking features such as IPv6 and video multicasting. The project plans to connect community anchors across all disciplines into virtual communities with shared goals and objectives, including colleges, universities, libraries, major veterans and other health care facilities, and public safety entities, with additional benefits to tribes, vulnerable populations, and government entities.