Gates Foundation Broadband Grant Program

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The New York State Library is one of seven state libraries participating in a Bill & Melinda Gates Library Foundation pilot project: the Opportunity Online Broadband Grant Program.

Statewide Technology Sustainability Plan for New York Libraries [ .PDF only pdf icon [67k]

Final Grant Report Narrative, January 2012 

This program provided:

  • Technical support and training, and upgraded broadband access for 104 New York State public libraries.
  • A Broadband Summit, designed to increase library and influencer awareness of broadband issues; provide education about approaches to developing and sustaining affordable, high-speed connectivity; and foster the development of a informed, viable Statewide broadband sustainability strategy.
  • E-Rate training and application support (optional).

List of Eligible Libraries

Summit Data Analysis

New York Opportunity Online Broadband Summit Recap [.pdf pdf file ]

Original List of Eligible Libraries

Gates Foundation Fact Sheet ( .pdf pdf file )

Background and Purpose of the Grant Program

It is virtually impossible to succeed without the Internet today: fast, reliable online access opens a world of educational, economic and social opportunities. Public libraries offer critical, free access to computers and the Internet, yet many libraries struggle to update their public computers regularly and lack minimally adequate Internet connections.

This pilot broadband grant program has been developed to: help libraries with inadequate Internet speeds improve their connections to a minimum accepted level of 1.5 Mbps; ensure libraries are able to sustain increased Internet connectivity and support future upgrades as demand for bandwidth grows over time; and help foster a statewide broadband strategy.


The Gates Foundation, using data supplied by LRW, a third party research firm, determined eligibility. All public libraries, whether urban, suburban or rural, were surveyed regarding the number and type of Internet subscriptions, monthly expense, provider, speed and source of funds. Generally eligibility was determined by low speed (<1.5 bps) per subscription.

State Partnership

Library Training Program Grant


Phase 1
Phase 2

Rural Library

Project Final Report

Spanish Language

Project Final Report

Opportunity Online Hardware Grant Program

Opportunity Online Broadband Grant Program

Last Updated: January 27, 2014 --asm; for questions or comments contact Linda Todd