Digital Cities awards cites many BTOP grantees

Each year, the Center for Digital Government conducts a survey of all municipalities over 30,000 people and in November awards those who have innovatively used technology to “expand access to government services, promote citizen engagement, increase transparency, reduce costs and improve the lives of residents.”

There are four categories, based on population, and the top-ranked cities: Boston; Irving, Texas; Avondale, Arizona; and Palo Alto, California. According to the center’s director, Todd Sander, “Nationally the number of tech-savvy digital cities is increasing, particularly among the larger jurisdictions responding to the survey.”

To see the complete list of awards, click here.

Among the rated cities were a number of those who’ve run projects funded through the federal government’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). According to the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA), which oversees BTOP, “…the program has invested roughly $4 billion nationwide in network infrastructure, public computer centers and digital literacy training.”

For instance, Boston took first place among large population cities. According to NTIA, Boston employed one grant “to install 638 new computers in 54 libraries, community centers and public housing developments,” and the second to offer “training programs at these centers, covering everything from basic Web navigation and multimedia skills to adult education and job search assistance.”

Another recipient in the large cities category was Philadelphia, also with two BTOP grants to support its Freedom Rings Partnership. This citywide coalition “installed more than 800 new workstations in homeless shelters, libraries, housing developments and other public buildings in low-income neighborhoods. Altogether, the program established 79 computer centers, called KEYSPOTS.”

Other cities on – both large and small – which made the 2013 Digital Cities list and received BTOP funding were Los Angeles; Seattle; Austin, Texas; Winston-Salem, N.C., and Lowell, Mass.

Speed Matters has long supported the broadband adoption and digital literacy BTOP programs.

13th Annual Digital Cities Survey – 2013 Results (Center for Digital Government, Nov. 7, 2013)

Digital Cities Benefit from Broadband Investments
(NTIA, Dec. 2, 2013)