The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have announced the second round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants and loans -- totaling $4.8 billion -- to expand broadband access in the United States. The investment, it is hoped, will help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, and create jobs.
NTIA will allocate approximately $2.35 billion in this round for infrastructure projects, and another $150 million for Public Computer Center projects, which will expand access to broadband service at public libraries, community colleges, and other public institutions. RUS will allocate $2.2 billion in this round for broadband infrastructure projects.
This is the second funding round for the broadband programs. The awardees for the first round of broadband stimulus grants were announced in December. Among the winners were three libraries.
The two agencies also announced a series of public workshops to review the application process and answer questions from prospective applicants. One of the workshops will be held in Detroit. Interested parties can register for the workshops at www.broadbandusa.gov.
Grant applications will be accepted from February 16, to March 15, and all awards will be announced by September 30.