The 68-page toolkit includes providing convenient times and locations for broadband training and computer use to ensure easy access and addressing the cost of broadband adoption by providing access to discounted computer equipment and/or affordable broadband service.
The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) has released a Broadband Adoption Toolkit, a document that shares best practices for stimulating consumer adoption throughout the United States.
The toolkit was developed from broadband adoption and digital literacy projects funded by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Leveraging the experience of about 100 communities served by BTOP, the toolkit gives practical ideas and tools for overcoming barriers to getting more Americans online access.
Since its creation, BTOP has funded $452 million in grants to cities, libraries, nonprofit organizations, colleges and other groups for projects to teach Americans the digital literacy skills they need to be competitive in the 21st century economy, and to promote the benefits of and provide access to high-speed Internet through public computer centers.
“We developed the toolkit in order to share the expert knowledge and experience of the broadband adoption and computer training projects with a broader base of anchor institutions, government agencies, non-profits and others engaged in this effort,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, NTIA’s administrator.
The 68-page toolkit include providing convenient times and locations for broadband training and computer use to ensure easy access and addressing the cost of broadband adoption by providing access to discounted computer equipment and/or affordable broadband service.
It also addresses making digital literacy programs relevant by teaching skills that can change people’s daily lives and partnering with established community organizations that people know and trust to help engage hard-to-reach populations.
NTIA research states that almost one-third of Americans do not have broadband at home. Some of the key reasons why people do not use broadband include a lack of access and availability of broadband, the high-cost of broadband service in some areas, and a belief that they do not need broadband service.
The Recovery Act appropriated $4.7 billion for NTIA to establish BTOP to increase broadband access and adoption; provide broadband training and support to schools, libraries, healthcare providers and other organizations; improve broadband access to public safety agencies; and stimulate demand for broadband.