---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rosemary Klein <RKl...@smail.umaryland.edu>
Date: Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 17:29
Subject: Soros support for Balto as "test-city"
To: Emil Volcheck <volc...@acm.org>
I'm guessing that you've seen this article (or something similar to
it) but as it's of interest thought I'd share it with you.
Project Would Aid OSI-Baltimore and Others in Closing the City's Digital Divide
BALTIMORE -- Open Society Institute (OSI) founder and philanthropist
George Soros has urged Google to choose Baltimore as the field site
for the company's planned investment in launching ultra-high speed
"Google should consider Baltimore for this trial for the same reasons
that I selected Baltimore for my philanthropic investment, and as the
site of the only field office of the Open Society Institute in the
United States," said George Soros. "Baltimore has strong community
institutions but still many people who suffer from being disconnected
from important resources. The city and its residents would benefit
dramatically from enhanced communications infrastructure. An
investment in Baltimore is sure to yield positive returns both for
Google and for the city."
Soros chose Baltimore as a "test-city" to implement smart solutions
and create systemic change with regard to some of the biggest
challenges facing urban centers: failing schools, untreated drug
addiction, and an over-reliance on incarceration. Since 1998, his
foundation, OSI-Baltimore, has invested over $70 million towards
solving these complex problems.
"OSI-Baltimore's efforts to develop a trained workforce, keep children
and youth engaged in schools and in after-school programs, expand
access to addiction treatment, and increase access to public benefits
and training would be greatly enhanced through the tools enabled by
Google Fiber," said OSI-Baltimore Director Diana Morris. "In addition,
we applaud Google's intentions to make this an 'open access network,'
which will further promote the principals of net-neutrality and open
"Baltimore is a compelling location for Google's fiber trial," said
Tom Loveland, Baltimore's appointed Google Czar. "Baltimore is home to
unique, world-class institutions like Johns Hopkins and Hubble Space
Telescope, engines of knowledge and innovation that help the world.
Baltimore's talent pool - one of the highest concentrations of
scientific and technical professionals in the country and a vibrant
creative and entrepreneurial class - already creates next-generation
applications. And Baltimore owns and operates its own fiber conduit,
simplifying Google's deployment. Adjacent to our nation's capital,
Baltimore provides tremendous visibility to major potential users of
Google high-speed fiber."
Key organizations with which OSI-Baltimore partners-including the
Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore City Schools, universities,
medical institutions, government agencies, and non-profit
organizations-are primed to take advantage of the infrastructure
Google proposes. With this bandwidth, they would be able to implement
innovative programs rapidly and more broadly.
"I am grateful for Mr. Soros' support of Baltimore's effort to attract
Google Fiber to Baltimore," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "Mr.
Soros understands that Baltimore is a City with a great history of
innovation and invention. With our world class institutions,
businesses and engaged citizens, we are the best City in America for
Google to invest in new high-speed internet infrastructure. "
OSI-Baltimore was started in 1998 by philanthropist George Soros as a
laboratory to better understand and solve the most intractable
problems facing urban America. OSI-Baltimore is a private operating
foundation that focuses its work exclusively on the root causes of
three intertwined problems - drug addiction, an over-reliance on
incarceration and the obstacles that keep youth from succeeding inside
and outside of the classroom. OSI-Baltimore also sponsors the
Baltimore Community Fellows, now over 100 members strong, who work to
create opportunity and bring justice to people in the city's most