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Knight Center of Digital Excellence partners with the Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition to Create Community Broadband Initiative

The Knight Center of Digital Excellence, an Akron-based nonprofit is partnering with the Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition in the planned construction of a robust, open, carrier-neutral broadband network that would provide nearly 35 square miles of wireless Internet access and broadband services to up to 900 community organizations and institutions and reaching more than 2 million residents. AKRON, OH, September 01, 2009 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Knight Center of Digital Excellence, an Akron-based nonprofit is partnering with the Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition in the planned construction of a robust, open, carrier-neutral broadband network that would provide nearly 35 square miles of wireless Internet access and broadband services to up to 900 community organizations and institutions and reaching more than 2 million residents. This project has the potential to serve as a model economic engine and platform for innovation for the healthcare, education, public safety, digital inclusion, biotechnology, research, and e-government applications.

The Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition infrastructure project is a multi-stakeholder network approach that will provide value to both the public and private sector by creating more than 1,150 immediate high paying jobs directly involved with the implementation of the project and 575 indirect jobs as a result of project related activity. The estimated economic impact created by this project is projected to be more than $1 billion with an increase in direct annual income of more than $700 million.

The Knight Center and the Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition submitted a proposal to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, requesting $64 million to cover close to 80 percent of the total project costs. If this funding is not obtained, the project will continue at a smaller scale.

"From the day the Knight Center launched, the Miami-Dade community has continually engaged with our team in an effort to create a sustainable open network," said Scot Rourke, CEO of the Knight Center of Digital Excellence. "Proactive leadership and collaboration in Miami-Dade serve as a model for the 26 Knight Communities and the nation."

Members of the Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition include: Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, the City of Coral Gables, the City of Doral, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Miami-Dade College, University of Miami, Barry University, South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association, Health Choice Network, Miami Museum of Science, Knight Center of Digital Excellence, FPl Group, FPL FiberNet, Internet Coast, Human Services Coalition, Collins Center for Public Policy, Public Interest Computer & Technology, Per Scholas, and College Summit.

"The Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition has created a model that will not only stimulate our economy and support the future’s healthcare and educational applications, but which also provides a sustainable way for our community to invest in the digital ecosystem our most vulnerable populations need," commented Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

The Knight Center of Digital Excellence serves 26 U.S. communities and is operated by Cleveland-based technology non-profit OneCommunity, in partnership with The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The organization is dedicated to creating connected communities by utilizing information technologies to drive civic progress and economic development. For further information please contact Doug Adams at 216.923.2256 or by email at [email protected]

The Miami-Dade Broadband Coalition represents a significant group of stakeholders in Miami-Dade County including government, healthcare, education, community-based organizations, and the private sector. The coalition’s mission is to connect, enable and transform Miami-Dade through universal broadband, applications and participation.


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