Communities split millions to fight digital divide
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Nov 05, 2000
Calling it an era of "digital inclusion," U.S. Commerce Secretary Norman
Mineta recently awarded $14 million to projects that address the digital
divide in underserved areas across the country.
The Commerce Department's annual Technology Opportunities Program grants
were announced at a Washington, D.C., charter school run by the See Forever
Foundation, which received $395,000 to create a neighborhood technology
center to train residents in computer and Internet usage.
"These projects will expand the circle of opportunity so all Americans
will have a chance to experience this robust economy driven by the digital
economy," Mineta said. Commerce, which received 662 applications, will seek
$45 million from Congress for the program next fiscal year, he said.
Federal funds will also be matched by $18 million raised by grant recipients
from project partners and sponsors.
Some other grant recipients are:
* The County Sheriffs of Colorado plans to use $370,000 to build a statewide,
interagency system of victim/offender information for its 62 offices and
several hundred local law enforcement agencies.
* The Baltimore City Health Department proposed creating an interactive
database application to track and reduce the spread of sexually transmitted
diseases, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. It received $480,000.
* Hennepin County, Minn., will expand on a pilot project in which smart
cards are used to increase volunteerism and investment in local communities.
The county received $298,000.
* The Suquamish Indian Tribe, Wash., will get $410,000 to equip a recreational
vehicle with computers, mobile wireless technology and a satellite downlink
that will travel to housing developments and Early Head Start programs so
elementary-age children can learn to use technology.
* Portland, Ore., will create an interactive network database of metropolitan
housing resources to reduce homelessness and track affordable housing. The
city received $480,000.
* The South Carolina Department of Education will refurbish donated
computers and redistribute them to poor, rural families for use in their
homes and provide Internet access and training. It was awarded nearly $350,000.
* The Pueblo of Santa Ana will get about $490,000 to create a broadband
wireless community intranet to share information among its 12 government
entities and provide high-speed Internet access through a computer or television
for all community members.
A full list of this year's grant winners is available at www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/top/grants/fy2000awards.html.