About the Broadband Access Project
The Broadband Access Project was a $3.6-million initiative of the University of Minnesota's Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) to improve high-speed internet (broadband) access, awareness, and use in four federally designated poverty zones in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The project supported development and enhancement of 11 community-based public computer centers for underserved populations, including African-Americans, Latinos, American Indian, and Asian and African immigrants. BAP offered free training and Internet access for urban residents, not-for profit organizations, and small businesses at community locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
The goal of UROC BAP was to help eliminate the digital divide by enhancing and expanding access to high-speed internet (broadband) in underserved communities to expand access to information about employment, education, health, and community and economic development. The project opened doors, enhanced lives, and created access and job opportunities through technology.
BAP was funded in part by a three-year $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce (Award #27-42 B10003) with matching support of $741,000 from the University of Minnesota and community partners. The grant was part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program for Public Computer Centers and Sustainable Broadband Adoption, under the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The following individuals were members and leaders on the Broadband Access Project:
Dr. Heidi L. Barajas, Co-Project Investigator, Executive Director of the Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), Associate Dean for Engagement, Diversity, and Undergraduate Programs
D. Craig Taylor, Co-Project Investigator, Executive Director, Office for Business and Community Economic Development (BCED)
Sara Axtell, Community-Campus Health Liaison/Public Engagement Faculty Development Liaison, University of Minnesota, and Faculty-at-Large, Cultural Wellness Center
Dr. Geoffrey Maruyama, Professor, Educational Psychology
Mary Swenson, Finance Manager, Office of the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs/Provost
Kate Tyler, Communications Department Director, Office of the Senior Vice President for System Administration
James De Sota, Project Coordinator, Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center
Jeanne Zimmer, Evaluation Specialist, Office of the Senior Vice President for System Administration
Nam Nguyen, Manager of Technology Services, Office for Business and Community Economic Development (BCED)
For culturally relevant stories about the digital divide and more information about the BAP project, visit the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium.