ALA files comments to NTIA and RUS on broadband stimulus programs


Jenni Terry

ALA Washington Office Press Officer

(202) 628-8410,

For Immediate Release

November 30, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) today filed
comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS) regarding the implementation of the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

The ALA’s comments called for increasing funding for the Public Computer Center Program, streamlining and simplifying the application and review process, and prioritizing funding for community anchor institutions.

“Libraries are uniquely positioned to deliver on the promise and objectives of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Initiatives Program,” said Carrie McGuire, director for the program on networks for the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).

“We strongly encourage the NTIA and RUS to make changes to the program prior to Round 2 to ensure that libraries can take maximum advantage of this opportunity.”

The ALA’s comments assert that libraries are key partners in the programs’ goal of extending the opportunities available online to people across the United States. Libraries play the vital role of providing access to employment information, continuing education, government resources, small business opportunities and more; broadband connections are one of the critical elements that allow libraries to provide these essential resources to the public.