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News Release
Recovery Act Grant to Fund High-Speed Internet Mapping in Oregon
$2.1 million in Recovery Act funds awarded to state
Dec 22, 2009 (2009-021)
Contacts:  Lee Beyer, Chairman, 503 378-6611; Ray Baum, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; John Savage, Commissioner, 503 378-6611; Bob Valdez, Public Affairs Specialist, 503 378-8962
Salem, OR.  As part of the national effort to bridge the digital divide, Oregon received $2.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funds today from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). These dollars will help to identify and eventually close the broadband Internet gaps across the state.
“These Recovery Act dollars will help create a vital link to technology – and to information – for communities across the state,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “I am pleased to be launching this effort to see that Oregonians, especially students, have access to the Internet and the educational benefits it provides.”
Of the $2.1 million, $1.6 million will fund the development of broadband service maps and $500,000 will analyze barriers, increase awareness of the technology and offer communities digital literacy programs.
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC), the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, the Oregon Business Development Department, One Economy Corporation, BroadMap, and the New America Foundation will work together to create a comprehensive statewide map that will clearly identify which areas of the state have access to high-speed Internet connections and which do not.
These maps will allow consumers to more fully understand broadband options all the way down to individual addresses. The broadband maps will also provide valuable information to clearly identify Oregon’s unserved and underserved communities.
“These maps will enable the state to demonstrate available broadband service options across the state and enable state leaders with the tools to more accurately develop future efforts to address unserved and underserved communities,” OPUC Commission Chairman Lee Beyer said.
The federal Recovery Act allotted $7.2 billion for the development and expansion of broadband Internet access nationwide.
BroadMap, based in Richmond, VA and Lebanon, NH aggregates critical data from local and national sources and conducts independent verification processes to create and provide the most complete, accurate and up-to-date maps available.
The One Economy Corporation is a global nonprofit that leverages the power of technology to improve the lives of low-income people.  The company connects low-income communities to broadband at an affordable cost through innovative community-based programs, policy recommendations, and public-purpose media. One Economy is headquartered in Washington D.C. and has offices across the country and across the world.
The New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. New America is headquartered in Washington D.C. and also has a significant presence in California.