Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)
BTOP, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is designed to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities and provide long-term economic benefits. Tincan’s funding will enhance connectivity to the Spokane Public Library’s public access computers, establish or upgrade public computer centers at four city community centers, establish a training facility for Tincan programs, and increase public access computing through 7 non-profit partners. Tincan will also expand its technology training to include adults and small businesses.
Tincan’s BTOP project creates a city-wide alliance of community partners, the Spokane Broadband Technology Alliance, which will create a web of 17 public computer centers that blanket the low-income neighborhoods and are available to Spokane’s most vulnerable people. Training will include not only Internet basics, but because the Internet is also increasingly a forum for self-expression, civic participation, social interaction, Tincan will provide instruction in video production, social media, and developing serious video games. “Our training has an underlying theme not only of skill-building, but increasing civic engagement” said Karen Michaelson, Tincan’s Executive Director. Small businesses, critical to the economic vitality of our community, will have the opportunity to learn how to sell on the Internet and use social media to promote their business.