On the ground in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

'Broadband Summit' will address neighborhood wi-fi pilots

October 25, 2010 - 11:34 AM
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Those who've been following the plans for Bloomingdale's "The Bridge" free wireless Internet project may be interested in attending D.C.'s "Broadband Summit," planned for Wednesday. The Office of the Chief Technology Officer is hosting the event, the second of its kind, to encourage residents to come out and brainstorm about the nature and causes of the District’s digital divide, as well as to learn more about the city's free technology resources.

Among the topics on Wednesday's agenda: an update from CTO Bryan Sivak on developments since the previous summit (held back in February); a presentation from CCDC on its interest and role in addressing D.C.'s digital divide; and details on how OCTO plans to spend the $27 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars it's been awarded, plans which include deploying free computers and training in Wards 5, 7 and 8, expanding public Wi-Fi hotspots, and launching community broadband pilot programs (like the one currently in the works in Bloomingdale).

According to a press release for the summit, OCTO plans to implement these grant-funded initiatives during fiscal years 2011-2013. And based at least on Sivak's statement in the same release, he appears to be interested in sticking around to see these programs play out — note the adoption of Vince Gray's 'One City' slogan.

“Bridging the District’s digital divide through widespread broadband adoption is one of OCTO’s most pressing objectives,” said CTO Sivak. “Meeting this goal will help the District expand educational and employment opportunities for all our citizens and truly create ‘One City.’ I look forward to sharing and hearing everyone’s ideas about this compelling issue at next week’s Community Broadband Summit.”

The Broadband Summit will take place Wednesday, Oct. 27 starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Deanwood Recreation Center. More details here.

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