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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

News Media Contact:

Parita Shah, (202) 482-4883,

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $7.5 Million Investment to Increase Broadband
Access in Los Angeles
Funding to Upgrade and Expand Computer Centers in Most Vulnerable Communities

LOS ANGELES – U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today, joined by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer,
Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the South Los Angeles WorkSource
Center, announced a $7.5 million Recovery Act grant that will upgrade and expand 188 computer centers that
provide the public with free broadband access to the Internet. The investment will help bridge the technological
divide and improve access to job and computer training, and educational opportunities.

The grant was awarded to the Los Angeles’ Computer Access Network (L.A.-CAN). The L.A.-CAN project
proposes to double the number of workstations available throughout the city at public computer centers in
libraries, workforce centers, and youth and family centers in low-income and non-English speaking
communities. The majority of the 188 proposed centers would be located in or within three miles of federal and
state designated “Enterprise Zones.”

“This critical investment will expand computer and Internet service access to Los Angeles residents most in
need, helping to make them full participants in today’s 21st century information economy,” Locke said.
“Having access to the Internet’s economic, health and educational benefits should be as much of a fundamental
American right as attending a quality school or feeling safe when you walk down the street.”

The project proposes to:

Expand and upgrade free public computer centers at 73 public library locations, 43 WorkSource and
OneSource job centers, and 72 recreation centers, senior centers and child care centers – connecting 35
youth and senior centers to broadband Internet service for the first time.
Expand broadband Internet access to vulnerable populations: 128 of the proposed centers are located in
or near areas where 50 percent of the households are non-English speaking.
Expand broadband Internet access to low-income communities: 158 of the proposed centers are located
in areas where 50 percent of the households are at low or moderate income levels.
Provide city residents with access to job and computer training and online search engines, including the
library’s recently developed Job Hunting Guide.

“I am so pleased to stand with Secretary Locke today as he announces this crucial funding for the L.A.-CAN
Project, which will help community centers, libraries, workforce and youth centers across Los Angeles upgrade
and expand their computer centers and high speed Internet access, and support computer literacy and
educational training programs,” Senator Boxer said.
“This grant represents the beginning of our commitment to use Recovery Act funds to broaden access to
technology and close the digital divide,” Congresswoman Waters said. “Many residents have not been able to
afford broadband and thus do not have access to it, but the South Los Angeles WorkSource Center –
Community Centers Inc. and other public computing centers receiving funding will now make broadband
available for free to our community.”

"With access to computers and broadband Internet that many of us take for granted, more Angelenos will have
the opportunity to use the tools of the 21st century to get the jobs of the 21st century,” Mayor Villaraigosa
said. “With this ARRA funding, we will take another step towards bridging the digital divide and getting the
hard working people of Los Angeles back to work.”

Last month, Vice President Biden announced award of the first grants and loans funded by the Recovery Act to
expand access to and adoption of broadband service in America – an initial investment of $183 million in 18
high-speed Internet projects benefiting 17 states. Today’s grant is part of the same Recovery Act effort, which
will eventually invest a total of $7.2 billion. Of that funding, the Commerce Department’s National
Telecommunications and Information Administration will utilize $4.7 billion for grants to deploy broadband
infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas in the United States, expand public computer center capacity,
and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities
Service will use $2.5 billion in budget authority to support grants and loans to facilitate broadband deployment
in primarily rural communities.