The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included $7.2 billion to expand access to high-speed Internet services to close the digital divide, drive economic growth, and build the technology infrastructure and skills that America needs to compete in the 21st century. Roughly $4 billion of that total supports the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, or BTOP. The program, which is administered by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is investing in roughly 230 projects to increase broadband access and adoption around the country.
On January 16 2013, Governance Studies at Brookings provided an update on the BTOP program three years after Vice President Joe Biden announced the first round of BTOP awards at a factory in Dawsonville, GA. The event featured keynote remarks by NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling, followed by a panel of officials from BTOP projects that provided firsthand accounts from around the country.
Moderator: Darrell M. West
Keynote: Lawrence E. Strickling – Administrator, NTIA
Bruce Abraham – Member, Board of Directors, North Georgia Network
Susan Corbett – Chief Executive Officer, Axiom Technologies
Curtis Lowery, M.D. – Director, UAMS Center for Distance Health
Mark Malaspina – President CFY