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Statement Of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg On $20 Million In Federal Stimulus Awards For Broadband Adoption And Expansion

September 13, 2010

Programs Will Increase Access to Affordable Broadband Service in City's Underserved Communities and Among Low-Income Public School Students

“Today’s announcement of nearly $20 million in Federal stimulus funding for New York City for two new programs – NYC Connected Communities and NYC Connected Foundations – represents a major advance in our efforts to bridge the digital divide for low-income New Yorkers.

“The $14 million award for NYC Connected Communities will significantly expand 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 will serve 40,000 new users weekly, provide 1,047 new work stations, and offer an array of new resources for digital literacy, employment support, and other critical services. 

“The $6 million award for NYC Connected Foundations will provide over-age, under-credited students at 43 of the City’s public high schools with access to free computers, broadband subsidies, and comprehensive digital literacy training.  Through a new, credit-bearing “Connected Foundations” course aimed at facilitating sustainable adoption of broadband, the program will also aid these students in the transition to a post-secondary pathway.

“Today’s awards complement the $22 million award New York City received for the NYC Connected Learning initiative, which will help serve more than 18,000 low-income sixth grade students and 40,000 public school household members by providing free computers, discounted broadband service, high-quality digital educational resources, and digital literacy training to boost educational outcomes over three academic years. Taken together, this more than $40 million in Federal broadband funding will greatly expand New York City’s existing efforts to foster greater digital inclusion citywide.

“I commend the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications for spearheading the City’s broadband accessibility effort, as well as the Departments of Education, Aging and Parks, the New York City Housing Authority, and the City’s three public library systems, for helping to develop these innovative programs. I also want to thank the City’s Congressional delegation, as well as City Council Members Gale Brewer and Dan Garodnick, for helping the City garner this important funding.”

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