Best Practices - Vol. IV

Mayor Thomas Menino

"Cyber Boston"

In just over one year, the City of Boston has attracted more than $8 million in outside resources to further the use of technology in the City and reduce the gap between technology "haves" and "have nots."

The primary initiative in Mayor Menino's "Cyber Boston" technology campaign is "Kids Compute 2001," a five-year campaign launched by the Mayor last year to equip the Boston Public Schools with one computer for every four students.

On the nation's first Net Day last October the City and over 700 volunteers wired 18 Boston public schools to the Internet -- the largest single group in the nation. On Net Day II this April, an additional 13 schools were wired. All 31 schools will house a wired computer lab, library and from four to 32 wired classrooms, depending on school size. A third Net Day is scheduled for this fall.

Boston Edison was one of the first technology partners with the Boston Public Schools. They have invested $250,000 to purchase and install computers, network hardware, and wire NetDay schools.

Over the next 18 months, the remaining 94 Boston Public Schools will be wired with foundation networks, through the help of 3Com Corporation, Amp, Microsoft Corporation and IBEW. Each vendor is combining equipment, in-kind support and discounts to help the Boston Public Schools reach this goal. 3Com is investing over $1 million; Amp is providing $250,000 in equipment, plus technical support; Microsoft is providing software; and IBEW is wiring all the schools at no cost. The City's cost for these networks will be approximately $1.25 million, with one outside dollar for every City dollar invested.

Mayor Menino has sought to increase access to computers not only by Boston's students and teachers, but by every neighborhood resident. The City is equipping community centers, libraries and neighborhood non-profits with the latest technology with the help of the City's Timothy Smith Trust, Microsoft Corporation and other private corporations.

The Timothy Smith Trust has begun to endow 10 to l 5 computer educational centers in the City, focusing on Roxbury. To date, nearly $250,000 has been awarded.

The main library of the Boston Public Library and its 26 branch libraries have all been linked to the Internet via computers available to the public.

Microsoft's Libraries On-Line Project has invested $150,000 to establish computer centers linked to the Boston Public Library in l 3 community centers across the City. Each center will house 10 to 13 computers, complete with Internet access and printers.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (617) 635-4000

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