Get Connected! Initiative

Get Connected! logoThe California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) was awarded two grants totaling $14.3 million from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in 2010 to close the Digital Divide by connecting Californians to broadband and digital careers. These grants from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) were invested with 19 partners, organized in two programs: Broadband Awareness and Adoption (BAA) and Access to Careers in Technology (ACT). CETF provided an additional $2.6 million in matching funds and the partners contributed $3.5 million.

CETF Partners:

Broadband Awareness and Adoption

BAA mobilized the resources of eight partner organizations statewide to reach communities most impacted by the Digital Divide, including low-income communities, Latino households, rural communities and people with disabilities. The program, which was completed in January 2013, delivered the message of the benefits of broadband to more than 13 million Californians, provided digital literacy training to 720,000 low-income residents, got 199,000 connected to broadband at home and distributed nearly 7,000 free or low-cost computers.

Access to Careers in Technology

The eleven ACT partners focused on expanding access to broadband and digital careers in regions with high poverty and low levels of broadband adoption. The program is scheduled to be completed in June 2013. To date, the partners have provided digital literacy training to nearly 35,000 low-income Californians and distributed 5,500 free or low-cost computers. They have played a significant role in promoting career development: Providing digital training to 10,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs and workforce training to more than 4,000 low-income residents, helping them secure 2,600 Information and Communications Technology jobs.

What We've Learned:

Lessons Learned from the Field

In January 2013, CETF published "Lessons Learned from the Field: Connecting Californians to Broadband and Digital Careers." The purpose is to share major lessons based on solutions to challenge identified by CETF and its partners and serve as a resource for practitioners as they plan new initiatives or seek course corrections to increase broadband adoptions and jobs.

For a complete list of our NTIA partners and to learn more about the Get Connected! Initiative, visit

NTIA Broadband Adoption Toolkit

In May 2013, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration published the "NTIA Broadband Adoption Toolkit" NTIA compiled the experiences of the recipients of BTOP grants nationwide, including those of BAA and ACT grantees.