Learning in Indian River County

IRENE and the NTIA

Indian River County was the sole Florida recipient of the 1994 TIIAP (Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program) awards.

In the May 12, 1994 application letter, Dr. Gary Norris, Superintendent of the School District of Indian River County at the time stated:

"Although the Indian River School District is the formal applicant, the proposal is the culmination of three years of an intensive process of all our mainstream institutions, parent and citizen groups organizing to implement a new learning/development paradigm.

The paradigm, The Indian River Idea, calls on all institutions and citizens to come to new understandings, commitments and roles in the development of our children and ourselves. Central to this transforming undertaking is community telecomputing as the necessary tool for all of the learning settings to work together.

Now in the third year of implementation, we have gained the experience that makes this proposal possible and that offers a prototype for other communities to learn from."

The TIIAP program is part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the Department of Commerce. The TIIAP program provides matching grants to state and local governments, health care providers, school districts, libraries, universities, social service organizations, public safety services and other non-profit entities to help them access and use new telecommunications technologies. Grants are awarded after a competitive merit review process.

A portion of the Indian River County grant was used to provide community internet acces via IRENE, the Indian River Education Network. This web site was then created entirely through the donated time of Vetrol Data System Inc.'s Internet Division to provide the community with local information and access to the world wide web through our Exploring the World links.

TIIAP's 1994 award round received more than 1070 applications from 50 states, the District of Columbia and several territories. Requests for TIIAP funds totalled more than $560 million. The 1994 TIIAP grants awarded a total of $24.4 million to 92 projects in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The grants generated $43 million in matching funds, thus creating a total investment of $67 million towards the building of the National Information Infrastructure (NII).

The NTIA aggressively works to spur innovation, encourage competition, create job growth, and provide consumers with more choices and better quality telecommunications and information services and products at lower prices.

NTIA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with a satellite office in Annapolis, Maryland, and a telecommunications laboratory facility in Boulder, Colorado. NTIA information also is available on-line through dial-up access by modem to the NTIA bulletin board system (BBS) at 202/482-1199 at speeds up to 14,400 baud. Other Internet access points include: ftp.ntia.doc.gov and gopher.ntia.doc.gov.

IRENE and the Internet ~ IRENE

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