FCC To Launch $7.17 Billion Connectivity Fund Program

New Program Provides Funding to Schools and Libraries Critical to Closing the Homework Gap

WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Far too often, students, teachers, and library patrons lack the access they need to broadband and connected devices. This need has become even more apparent during these unprecedented times,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. “Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare, and employment resources. They will help close the Homework Gap for students nationwide and give so many more households the ability to connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”

The Report and Order adopted today establishes the rules and policies governing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The new rules define eligible equipment and services, service locations, eligible uses, and reasonable support amounts for funding provided. It designates the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as the program administrator with FCC oversight, and leverages the processes and structures used in the ERate program for the benefit of schools and libraries already familiar with the E-Rate program. It also adopts procedures to protect the limited funding from waste, fraud, and abuse.

Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need for remote learning. The Acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission.

— Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Top photo: GettyImages


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

http://www.tabletsforteens.org

BusUp Integrates LISNR’s Ultrasonic Technology Enabling Safe Contactless Ticketing for its Users

BARCELONA, SPAIN―BusUp, the leading corporate bus commuter management platform in the European Union (E.U.) announces their integration of LISNR’s ultrasonic technology platform to enable contactless mobile boarding pass authentication. LISNR’s ultrasonic technology enables contactless “Person Present” authentication and transactions across numerous mobility and retail commerce experiences that require contactless fulfillment. In the “new normal” where contactless methods are needed at distances greater than what NFC or QR can provide, LISNR is proving to be the safest and most seamless option for merchants as shown in this partnership with BusUp.

“Incorporating LISNR technology into our on-boarding process is a real breakthrough for BusUp. Thanks to LISNR we can offer our daily passengers with an even faster and safer contactless check-in on board.” – Rui Stoffel, CEO and co-founder of BusUp

LISNR’s frictionless solution will prove invaluable for BusUp’s extensive list of clients that include Siemens, Accenture, Louis Vitton and Cognizant amongst others. While the Coronavirus brought most forms of shared transportation to a halt, BusUp has taken a proactive approach in selecting a safe and seamless solution.

“A recent survey showed that 88% of BusUp users feel safe or very safe with BusUp. By incorporating LISNR ultrasound technology, we are confident that we will be able to improve these excellent results.” – Thibaud Kistler, CEO USA

Priding themselves on incorporating the most advanced technology for their customers, BusUp saw LISNR as a safer and more efficient solution to QR code. They recognized LISNR’s technology as the market leader for reasons such as safety, efficiency and ability to function without an internet connection. Safety for the riders and drivers through contactless authentication. Efficiency and speed to better eliminate queues and ensure less reading errors. The fact that the technology works without an internet connection was imperative since BusUp is a global company providing services in areas with less than stable internet connection, especially in LatAm where they are currently operating in Brazil and Peru.

“BusUp is a perfect use case for our contactless, “person present” authentication. They are a prominent corporate transportation provider in the E.U. and U.S. for a reason. They work with some of the biggest brands to help ensure their most valuable asset, their employees, have a safe commute to the workplace. We’re excited to be an integral part in making sure that process stays reliable, safe and seamless in these “new normal” times.” – Eric Allen, CEO LISNR

As BusUp continues to expand globally, LISNR will continue to play an essential part of their contactless authentication process. Overall LISNR has seen contactless authentication and transactions skyrocket in many different verticals like mobility (transportation + delivery) and retail (scan pay & go, BOPIS, curbside pickup). According to McKinsey contactless services have seen a rise, and many consumers intend to continue using methods like self checkout (79%) + BOPIS (64%) after the pandemic subsides.1. With universal safety regulations recommending distances greater than what incumbent solutions like QR Code or NFC technology are effectively able to carry out, LISNR’s ultrasonic proximity platform is proving to be a stronger & safer alternative for these new times.


Above (L-R)  Accelerate PHL Fireside Chat dialogue “Disrupting the Status Quo” with Rodney Williams, LISNR Co-Founder, Earl A. Pace, Jr., BDPA Co-Founder, with Philly Tech Week 2017 moderator. BDPA photo ©2017 bdpatoday.

Co-founded in 2012 by Rodney Williams and Chris Ostoich, LISNR is located in Oakland, CA and Cincinnati, OH. Major investors include Visa, Intel, Jump Capital, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Mercury Fund, R/GA, and Synchrony Financial. Rodney Williams, an alumnus of West Virginia University and Howard University, is a mission partner of the National BDPA’s Cincinnati Chapter. He is responsible for leading all of the company’s commercial activities and strategy execution as Chief Commercial Officer. He has been with LISNR® since its founding and served as the CEO until August 2018. Rodney serves clients by solving complex problems with his years of entrepreneurship and technical expertise.

LISNR’s ultrasonic ‘data-over-sound’ technology enables contactless proximity verification and authentication across commerce experiences for merchants, financial service providers, and mobility companies. Today, multiple Fortune 100 companies trust LISNR to power data transmission & authentication between devices.

Discover more about the LISNR technology by visiting: http://LISNR.com or email: info@lisnr.com.

Source and photo #TeamLISNR and BusUp

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

D.C. Mayor Delivers a $4.6 Million Technology Investment with 16,400 Devices to Students

#BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

WASHINGTON – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools (DCPS) began delivering more than 16,400 technology devices to students across all eight wards as a part of the Empowered Learner’s Initiative. The initiative is a comprehensive three-year commitment by Mayor Bowser to close the digital divide and empower DCPS students through access to state-of-the-art technology.

“Last year, our community made clear that they wanted us to invest more in technology in our schools – and we answered that call with a $4.6 million investment in new devices for our young learners,” said Mayor Bowser. “But this investment isn’t just about buying devices – it’s about ensuring our students and teachers have the programs and resources they need to help us close the digital divide in Washington, DC.”

Last year, Mayor Bowser made an initial $4.6 million investment in technology to provide every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 with a device to use at school, and students in all other grades will have a 3:1 student-to-device ratio in the classroom. After ensuring schools had the necessary technology infrastructure and providing professional development to educators, classrooms are receiving the Microsoft Surface Go to enhance teaching and learning.

dc-tablets-farabee2020“DCPS is excited to begin delivering on our commitment to close the digital divide and empower students across the district in innovative ways,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee (above left, with students). “This year, students in grades 3, 6, and 9 will receive Microsoft Surface Go’s that will enhance their learning experience and advance college and career success. I thank Mayor Bowser for her investment in the Empowered Learner’s initiative and look forward to providing even more students with access to state-of-the-art technology over the next three years.”

After students and educators tested the Microsoft Surface Go, it was selected for its agility, durability, and long-battery life. The Surface Go has a world-facing camera for video and photography, and an inking stylus for drawing and writing.

Since the beginning of the school year, teachers, technology specialists, and operations staff engaged in professional development focused on this new technology. Students are receiving digital citizenship lessons, published by Common Sense Media, to make safe and responsible decisions online.

“We want to ensure the new technology provides the best experience for students and have been testing and optimizing to make that a reality,” said DC Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker. “Nearly 50 technicians are trained and ready to support students and teachers the moment the devices enter the classroom and students log-in.”

Tablets For TeensThe devices will stay in the classroom so teachers can continue to use the technology to enhance their instruction. Families can expect to see their third grade students using the devices to apply the math skills they learn to control Sphero robots; high school students enrolled in credit recovery can have full access to digital resources and assessment that will help them master the course content; and teachers can provide personalized strategies to meet every student’s individual needs through both in-person and digital instruction.

Next fiscal year, Mayor Bowser plans to make another multimillion dollar investment in technology to provide a device for every student in grades 4, 7, and 10. To learn more about the devices, families can visit the District’s Empowered Learners Initiative website.

Source and photo: Office of the Mayor
Cover photo courtesy: Debbie Truong

* Resources for DCPS parents, teachers, and students are linked here.


** Related articles on BDPA-DC’s Tablets For Teens or National BDPA’s Mobile App Showcase programs are linked here.


A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Select here for exciting careers in TECH and CYBER ...

CTA, HRS Unveil Recommendations for Managing Personal Health With Wearables at CES 2020

Select here for exciting new careers in TECH, CYBER, and SPACE!

LAS VEGAS, NV — This week, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® and Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) released a unique digital health paper recommending best practices for using wearable technology to manage personal health, including detecting and monitoring cardiovascular biometrics. Presented for the first time during a panel at CES® 2020 – the world’s largest, most influential tech event – this paper provides consumer guidance on understanding devices and managing their personal health data.

“The collaboration between HRS and CTA is timely and important for both consumers and clinicians,” said Dr. Andrea Russo, president, HRS. “Chronic diseases are increasing in prevalence and wearables help people monitor their health to aid in earlier diagnosis and better management of their conditions; furthermore, they provide information to the user that fosters a healthier lifestyle.”

“Digital health is changing lives for the better – providing more personalized care, delivering better outcomes and lowering costs,” said Rene Quashie, VP of digital health, CTA. “Wearable solutions are one of the fastest growing sectors in technology. And as more consumers capture personal health information, a cross industry-created guidance document has never been more important to provide clarity on the potential health and wellness benefits of wearables.”

The CTA/HRS Guidance for Wearable Health Solutions paper includes an overview of the wearables landscape and offers advice for consumers on using wearables. A FAQ section tackles topics including data management, when to call a doctor, sharing data with a health provider, data privacy and security policies.

Developed and reviewed by physicians, patient advocates, technology companies and health care organizations, CTA and HRS created these guidelines to answer common questions for consumers that currently own – or want to own – wearables that capture personal health information. The best practices were presented at the Disruptive Innovations in Health Care conference track at CES.

Dr. Nassir Marrouche, lead author of the paper, added, “in this document we aimed to highlight this new intersection between consumer tech and health. We want people to be aware of what these wearables have to offer, how they can increase knowledge about one’s health, and how clinicians are optimistic about the data wearables can deliver.”

According to recent data, CTA projects total sales of digital health devices in the U.S. – such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and blood pressure monitors – will reach $10 billion in revenue in 2020 (up by 16% over last year).

The Health & Wellness category at CES 2020 will have over 20% more exhibitors and 15% more exhibitor space than CES 2019, with notable exhibitors such as Abbott, Cigna, Humana, Omron Healthcare, Myant, Philips and Procter & Gamble.

To download the CTA/HRS Guidance for Wearable Health Solutions document, visit CTA.tech.

by Danielle Cassagnol, CTA

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

BDPA 2020 South Regional Technology Conference

Samsung Opens World-Class Showcase for Government Solutions

WASHINGTON— Last quarter, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. announced that the company will be relocating its Washington, D.C. offices into a new multi-use, operational and interactive facility in the District’s iconic Eastern Market neighborhood. On Tuesday, October 30, 2018, Samsung’s U.S. Public Affairs team and the Solutions Center relocated to 700 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, occupying 28,512 square-feet at the former Hine Junior High School location and new redevelopment site.

“At Samsung we leverage our deep understanding of and experience with the Federal Government customer to develop mission-ready solutions ,” said Terry Halvorsen, Chief Information Officer & Executive Vice President of IT and Mobile Communications at Samsung. “Samsung’s unique breadth of expertise across 5G, tailored mobile solutions, end-to-end security and workforce transformation allow us to drive towards improved government end-user experience and productivity.

This new space at 700 Penn will be a center of innovation and provide opportunities to engage, support and educate government customers, policymakers and technology leaders.”

“For 40 years, Samsung has invested in U.S. employees, partners and facilities, because engaging customers and innovators is what pushes us forward and drives American technology leadership,” said David Steel, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Samsung Electronics America.

“This investment in the nation’s capital further solidifies Samsung’s commitment in Washington and in the U.S. We will continue to be a convener on all things technology as we look ahead toward the next 40 years of innovation.”

open-house30OCT18-kscott2

Above, Keith Scott, Cyber Programs for BDPA Washington (right) discusses 5G technologies and new applications with Samsung executives during Grand Opening events.  BDPA-DC photo © 2018 bdpatoday

“We are excited to welcome Samsung’s Solutions Center to 700 Penn,” said Anthony Lanier, president and founder of EastBanc Development. “This innovative concept is an important anchor to one of D.C.’s most historic neighborhoods and aligns with our goal of marrying the new and old during the redevelopment of this area while providing Samsung’s employees with vibrant live-work-play amenities.”

Designed by architects Weinstein Studio, Esocoff & Associates and landscape architect Oehme, van Sweden & Associates, the Hine School Redevelopment Project is a new mixed-use development, which includes a 156,000-square foot office building, apartment residences, and 60,000-square feet of specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants. It has a full range of office amenities including multiple conference centers (at street level and rooftop — right photo), rooftop terrace with unobstructed 360-degree and Capitol views, fitness center, enclosed loading areas, underground parking and more.

Samsung also has a Galaxy Studio located on the Metro Level in the District’s  historic Union Station, a major transportation hub and retail destination within Washington, D.C. Guests visit the Galaxy Studio to purchase the new Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, get one-on-one onboarding to new devices, use Smart Switch to transfer files and access exclusive promotions onsite. Guests can also experience Samsung’s innovative technology via several engaging product experiences.

The Washington Post reports in the past 20 years consumer tech companies like Samsung and Apple have led consumer tech revolutions that have put smartphones and tablets in the hands of more than 2 billion consumers, including working adults, children, first-responders, and now the military.


*** Samsung Electronics USA and BDPA-DC reach 40-year milestones in 2018. On Saturday, December 8, 2018, National BDPA’s Washington D.C. Chapter (BDPADC) is co-hosting a special community and holiday event in Samsung’s new facility commemorating Samsung and BDPA-DC 40-year milestones. Contact your Host BDPA Chapter for special invitations. ***


— Sources and images: Samsung Electronics USA and BDPA-DC

bdpatoday-banner-vr

cropped-bdpa-dc40_innov8.jpg

%d bloggers like this: