WASHINGTON, June 11, 2010 —The second day of the Broadband Policy Summit VI sponsored by Pike & Fischer began with Lawrence Strickling’s morning keynote address. Strickling, who is the assistant secretary for Communication and Information in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, focused on the administration’s accomplishments and future goals as they expand broadband access throughout the country.
He outlined the achievements from the first round of grants awarded through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The first round, completed earlier this year, granted $1.2 billion to 82 projects across the country.
In regards to infrastructure installation, Strickling said that the NTIA has learned the difference of needs between those with household broadband connections and anchor institutions in communities with broadband connection.
He also stressed the importance of investing grant money in projects that will provide long-term service to consumers at a reasonable rate. Having anchor institutions with broadband provides Americans with the opportunities to gain computer skills and access to educational opportunities. Being able to access this information will stress the importance of broadband connections, and these Americans will insist on having broadband within their homes.
Broadband access will also provide employment – Strickling said that “We are rapidly approaching a time where all jobs are going to require computer skills and Internet access.”
NTIA is now reviewing the second round of grant applications. In this round, the NTIA has added a new category for first responders and emergency services, saying those agencies need “seamless communication.”
As the NTIA continues to review all applications, Strickling said that “there is a large amount of responsibility on us to manage these projects,” and that they will continue to do as much as they can to fulfill President Obama’s goals with the stimulus package