The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded grants for broadband mapping and planning to Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The NTIA has now awarded 51 grants totaling approximately $97 million under the program, including today’s announcement, and the agency expects to finish announcing awards under this program in early 2010.
NTIA carefully evaluates each application to determine whether the applicant directly represents the interests of the state. This state-applicant connection is especially critical in the context of the broadband planning activities that NTIA considers the responsibility of the state. The State of Texas is providing direction and supervision to the planning activities that will be undertaken by its designated entity, which is a non-state government entity, to ensure that planning funds are used to address the specific needs of the state. Awardees will collect and verify the availability, speed, and location of broadband across the state. This activity is to be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2009 and 2011, with the data to be presented in a clear and accessible format to the public, government, and the research community.
The State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program is a matching grant program that implements the joint purposes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA). The program will provide grants to assist states or their designees in gathering and verifying state-specific data on the availability, speed, location, and technology type of broadband services. The data they collect and compile will also be used to develop publicly available state-wide broadband maps and to inform the comprehensive, interactive, and searchable national broadband map that NTIA is required by the Recovery Act to create and make publicly available by February 17, 2011. The national broadband map will publicly display the geographic areas where broadband service is available; the technology used to provide the service; the speeds of the service; and broadband service availability at public schools, libraries, hospitals, colleges, universities, and public buildings. The national map will also be searchable by address and show the broadband providers offering service in the corresponding census block or street segment.
All awardees, except the Territorial governments in Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, are required to contribute at least 20 percent non-federal matching funds toward project costs. In addition, while the BDIA mandates that each state may designate only one eligible entity to receive funds under the program, each state’s applicant will be carefully evaluated and must meet the standards described in NTIA’s Notice of Funds Availability for this program in order to receive funding.
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MuniWireless 2010 Media Kit
The MuniWireless 2010 Media Kit is now available. Find out how you can effectively promote your products and services on MuniWireless.com (using our email newsletter, webinars, and events as well). Email me for the 2010 Media Kit.
*Attention vendors and consultants! Make sure you’re included in our online Vendor Directory and in the directory of version 2.0 of the Muniwireless guide on how to get a grant from the NTIA and RUS (send an email to me). Version 2.0 of the guide will contain the revised NTIA and RUS rules for the second round of broadband stimulus funding.
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