The Politics of Partnerships: Understanding Collaboration in U.S. Digital Inclusion Policy

TitleThe Politics of Partnerships: Understanding Collaboration in U.S. Digital Inclusion Policy
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Gangadharan, S. P.
Affiliation (1st Author)Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation; Information Society Project, Yale Law School
Section or WGCommunication Policy and Technology
DateFri 28 June
Slot CodeCPTF1b
Slot Code (Keyword)CPTF1b
Time of Session9:00-10:30
RoomQ121
Session TitleICT, media and business strategies
Submission ID7311
Abstract

In2009, the U.S. Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, setting aside nearly $5 billion for the establishment of digital literacy programs and public computer centers nationwide. This effort, known as the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, aimed to improve broadband infrastructure and stimulate broadband demand by members of chronically underserved populations. From the inception of the program, BTOP guidelines emphasized partnerships, or collaboration among diversely interested organizations, as a critical mechanism to meet underserved communities' broadband needs. Using textual analysis of funding applications and final reports of program grantees, this paper assesses the nature of partnerships and their success relative to stakeholder expectations. Its findings help elucidate the role of social and community infrastructure in broadband adoption and in bridging the digital divide.

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