Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)

Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)

UMass Lowell BTOP Program

In February 2010, UMass Lowell received a three-year BTOP grant totaling $783,000 from the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The purpose of the grant is to promote and to research sustainable broadband adoption.

Ribbon cut in Amesbury

 Background

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) with $7.2 billion to expand access to broadband services in the United States.

Of those funds, the Act provided $4.7 billion to NTIA to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service, and develop and maintain a nationwide public map of broadband service capability and availability. 

Categories

NTIA administers the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) within three project categories:

  • Comprehensive Community Infrastructure
  • Public Computer Centers
  • Sustainable Broadband Adoption

The UMass Lowell $1 million BTOP program has been funded by an NTIA grant under the Sustainable Broadband Adoption program.

Comprehensive Community Infrastructure

Projects to deploy new or improved broadband Internet facilities (e.g., laying new fiber-optic cables or upgrading wireless towers) and to connect “community anchor institutions” such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety facilities. These networks help ensure sustainable community growth and provide the foundation for enhanced household and business broadband Internet services.

computer lab


Public Computer Centers

Projects to establish new public computer facilities or upgrade existing ones that provide broadband access to the general public or to specific vulnerable populations, such as low-income individuals, the unemployed, seniors, children, minorities, and people with disabilities.



Sustainable Broadband Adoption

Projects that focus on increasing broadband Internet usage and adoption, including among vulnerable populations where broadband technology traditionally has been underutilized. Many projects include digital literacy training and outreach campaigns to increase the relevance of broadband in people’s everyday lives.

For more information about BTOP or specific projects, please visit the Broadband USA website