Seattle Community Technology History

A timeline of Seattle's digital inclusion and public computing programs


2014
  April: Results of the City's latest research on Information Technology Access and Adoption in Seattle are scheduled to be released.

2013 Washington State Digital Inclusion Summit held at South Seattle Community College.

2011 Boost Communities Online minigrants and training begin with support from City Web Team and our Citizens Telecommunications and Technology Advisory Board (CTTAB) members.

2010 Get Online Day starts (changed to Get Online Week in 2011, and Get Online Seattle in 2013).

2009 Communities Online project begins; leads to assessment and expanded Neighborhoods on the Net directory.

2008 Washington State passes law defining community technology and digital inclusion programs and creating Community Technology Opportunity Program.  Seattle Community Technology Program and state Communities Connect Network coalition were instrumental in writing and encouraging this.

2007 Puget SoundOff youth electronic civic engagement and training project launched, went live in 2008.  Funded as part of the Comcast franchise agreement.  $500k in agreement, as well as $15k for public computing center equipment.

2006 SeattleWi-Fi community wi-fi pilot project begins in Columbia City and University Business Districts, 4 downtown parks and City Hall. This lasted 6 years, though wi-fi in some city facilities continues.

2006 Seattle hosts national CTCNet (Community Technology Center Network) conference.

2006 State meeting held which launches Communities Connect Network.

2002 Brainstorm e-zine launched, monthly community technology newsletter. Brainstorm.seattle.gov

2002 RecTech coalition formed to support sustainability of Parks & Rec Community Center tech learning centers.

2000 Agreement with cable company enables expansion of free cable broadband program for technology access sites citywide.

2000 Research on seniors and computing conducted, which leads to creation of the Seniors Training Seniors in computing program, now managed by Mayors Office of Senior Citizens.

1999 CTTAB and the City create the Information Technology Indicators Program with community input.

1998 City and TCI (now Comcast) launch first pilot sites to demonstrate use of high speed cable Internet service. Delridge Community Center is the launch site.  This led to our cable modem agreement in franchise.

1997 Directory of public computing sites created ("Techmap") and first Technology Matching Fund grants awarded.

1996 Public access machines at nine sites, including extensive computer labs at the Rainier and Downtown Libraries that were funded through a grant from Microsoft.  PAN has set up a community access site at Garfield Community Center with both BBS and Web access.  Staff working with the Parks Department to set up similar programs at additional community centers and with the Department of Neighborhoods to install computers in some neighborhood service centers.

1996 City Council establishes Citizens Technology Literacy and Access program, including a staff position of planner. Technology Matching Fund community grant program also established.  Delridge and South Park Community Center computer labs opened, with funding from the Private Industry Council for job training.

1994 Community volunteers, including an African American group from Boeing, assemble used computers to create the Garfield and Rainier Community Center computer labs.

1994 - 1996 Seattle establishes Public Access Network (PAN) for electronic government service delivery. Starts with a dial-up bulletin board system (BBS) with resident discussions. City launches first web site. Libraries put in public access web terminals at nine branches.