Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
Under the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, an initial round of funding, totaling $1.6 billion, will be awarded by September 30, 2009 for these three programs:
- Broadband Infrastructure — Up to $1.2 billion will be available to support projects that deliver specific levels of broadband services to unserved and underserved areas.
- Public Computer Centers — Up to $50 million will be available to fund projects that expand the computer center capacity at facilities that permit the public to use computers. These sites can include schools, community colleges, public libraries, youth centers, employment service centers, Native American chapter houses, community centers, senior centers, assistive technology centers for people with disabilities, community health centers, networking centers in public housing, or other sites that provide broadband access to the general public or a specific vulnerable population, such as low-income or unemployed persons, the elderly, children, minorities or people with disabilities. Eligible expenses for this program include the cost of acquiring broadband-related equipment, networking capability, hardware and software, and digital network technology, as well as activities related to training, education, support and awareness.
- Sustainable Broadband Adoption — Up to $150 million will support “innovative projects” that promote broadband demand, such as initiatives to increase broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment and support, particularly among vulnerable populations.
Another $200 million may be distributed in this round or saved for later application rounds.
State governments will be asked to make recommendations for allocating funds for eligible projects in their states after the first cut of applications is made. In addition, states participating in a second funding program covering broadband mapping (see below) will also be able to help define the unserved and underserved areas of their state.
Click here for full details on the program, including additional eligibility criteria.