Building Broadband Infrastructure: Mapping Social Process and Impact of the BTOP, BIP, and Google Fiber Initiatives

Total Funding to Date



  • Kate Williams

This project, a subaward from the University of Michigan, compares broadband development processes and outcomes across three leading domestic broadband initiatives: the federal government’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), and the experimental Google Fiber initiative. Working closely with the sponsoring organizations and a subset of project grantees, our study deploys a combination of ethnographic, survey-based, network analytic, and statistical methods to address three central questions:

  • What role do existing community resources and networks play in efforts to mobilize, secure funding for, and deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure?
  • What new or extended forms of social interaction are supported by high-speed broadband access?
  • What forms of local social and technical innovation may be supported or enhanced by broadband development?

Funding Agencies

  • Ford Foundation, 2010 – $108,000.00