Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Measuring Technology's Impact on Community

By Charles Benton, The Benton Foundation

The Benton Foundation is rooted in the notion that communications technology is essential to addressing social issues and challenges. This ideal dates back to our founding by my father, William Benton, a public servant who championed free speech and civil liberties.

Like the Knight Center of Digital Excellence, the Benton Foundation believes that all communities in this nation will benefit greatly when everyone has universal, affordable and robust Internet access. We are gratified to see that our vision is embraced by President Obama and his administration. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides significant funds to start the journey toward universal broadband for all Americans.

The ARRA’s Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) builds on the first major federal investments specifically for the application of communications technology to addressing community needs. During the Clinton Administration, the National Telecommunications and Information Applications (NTIA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce, administered the Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) to use the newly-accessible Information Highway to, in the words of former Vice President Al Gore, “pave over the digital divide.”

Read the full article.

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