New York State Libraries and Funding Opportunities through the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act
The Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP)
In July 2009, the Federal government opened the first round of funding opportunities for broadband grants in three categories for BTOP: Infrastructure (Track 1), Public Computer Centers (Track 2) and Broadband Adoption Programs (Track 3). The New York State Library has submitted two applications in Round One, partnering with library systems, colleges, universities and community anchors to build a comprehensive application on behalf of various library entities that expressed an interest in submitting a joint proposal.
- NYS Public Computer Center ARRA Application Executive Summary
- Broadband Adoption Program Executive Summary
In preparing this web site, The New York State Library hopes to provide resources and guidance for libraries and library entities that may pursue funding in future rounds anticipated in 2010. Additionally potential partners may review the connectivity information for libraries to determine the types of additional services that could be provided through partnerships for improved connectivity.
Stimulus Awards Information
Ten round one awards have been issued, and New York has received a major award through the ION Upstate New York Rural Broadband Initiative. ION and Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) will receive $39.7 million in federal funds and will self-fund an additional $4.95 million to complete this infrastructure project. They will also receive a New York State Innovation Economy Matching Grant for $4.95 million for a total project cost of $49.6 million. This project will enable last mile service providers to make broadband more readily available to 250,000 households and 38,000 businesses, serving more than 70 rural communities in upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania and Vermont. Another grant ($5.3 million) was awarded to Slic Network Solutions for a fiber network in Franklin County.
Additional information is available at Funded Broadband, Infrastructure and Public Computer Center Project Announcements.
Helpful Hints for Future BTOP Funding Rounds
- February 2010: The New America Foundation's Open Technology Initiative (OTI) has expanded their publicly available Broadband Stimulus Resource Library, adding four application guides to assist those interested in applying for funding from the Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) Broadband Initiative Program (BIP) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).
- In the News: January 8, 2010: ARRA Broadband Match Portal: To help establish partnerships among prospective applicants for broadband grant and loan programs, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced the development of an online "matching" service to help applicants locate partners to assist any in building stronger funding requests in subsequent BTOP funding rounds for broadband expansion and adoption in the United States. In the press announcement, NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling added "BroadbandMatch is a tool to help stakeholders collaborate, which can spur the highest caliber, most effective proposals for this crucial Recovery Act funding." (Read more)
- There will be one application opportunity issued in 2010 by the Federal agencies, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
- Continue to check BroadbandUSA.gov for new administrative and reporting requirements.
- Libraries and library systems are encouraged to participate in aggregated applications. Applications may receive higher scores if submitted as part of a consortia or partnership with colleges and/or community agencies.
New York State Resources
- New York State Library
- Public Library Statistics
- Opportunity Online Broadband Grant
- New York State Library Universal Broadband Access Grant
- New York State Broadband Strategic Roadmap [from NYS Office for Technology]
- New York State Broadband Proposals
- New York State Broadband Council Executive Order
- New York Governor's Initiative: recovery.ny.gov
- New York State Universal Broadband Annual Report 2008
Broadband Growth in New York State
Libraries are not alone in a statewide effort to embrace broadband. New York State has many ongoing initiatives through the Office for Technology. Additionally, the Governor has created a matching grant program to help fund the expansion of broadband. Regional municipal and economic development agencies have also begun to expand municipal wireless in the counties of Albany, Ontario, and Westchester, while libraries have also continued to upgrade their connectivity to meet patron demand. New York Libraries have sustained their broadband and Internet connectivity through technology budgets, grants and wide area networks supported by library systems. The New York Opportunity Online Summit, held in June 2009, provided a venue for the exchange of ideas on the topic of broadband sustainability.
Potential Library Partners
For expertise in building a new network or consulting expertise in the deployment of network infrastructure, libraries may wish to work with non-profits and technology experts, or with other library partners to build library network consortia to explore cost-sharing or with the vendor community under contract to New York State through the Office of General Services.
New York Libraries & Connectivity
In 2008, baseline assessments of public library connectivity speeds were collected for the majority of public libraries throughout New York as part of the New York State Library's partnership with the Gates Foundation through its Opportunity Online Grant program. This data collection is available for review.
- DIGITAL NATION: 21st Century America’s Progress Towards Universal Broadband Internet Access
- Report Using Census Block Data Finds Broadband Adoption Rate of 72.9 Percent
- Evolving Metrics: New Levels of Accuracy in Broadband Adoption Rates
- Fiber to the Library -- How Public Libraries Can Benefit from Using Fiber Optics for their Broadband Internet Connection (an ALA-OITP Publication)
- American Library Association Know Your Stimulus / Broadband
- PEW Study for Internet Value in Rural America [84K]
- Home Broadband Adoption Study
- Broadband USA: A searchable database of projects submitted to Round One
- The Federal Register [221K] (Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 130 / Thursday, July 9, 2009 / Notices) is considered the official (and binding) information although it parallels closely the information in the NOFA.
- For detailed guidance on applying to the BIP, please refer to the Rural Utilities Service Application Guide.
- Service Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) Application Guide [813K]
For detailed guidance on applying to BTOP, please refer to the Grant Guidelines for the Recovery Act Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) [1000K]
- Buy American Exception under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [56K]. Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 125 / Wednesday, July 1, 2009 / Notices
- Broadband? - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been charged with developing a national broadband plan. As part of that effort, the FCC has developed a number of pages which talk about broadband in fairly simple straightforward language. Topics range from "What is Broadband?" to "Why is Broadband Important?" to "Types of Broadband Connections." FCC Fact Sheets and additional information resources are available from this page.