Tuesday, June 30, 2009

USDA Makes Available $4 Billion for Broadband Stimulus Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Obama administration announced the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to un-served and underserved communities across America.


The Recovery Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to accelerate broadband deployment in areas of the country that have been without the high-speed infrastructure. Of that funding, NTIA will utilize $4.7 billion to deploy broadband infrastructure in un-served and underserved areas in the United States, expand public computer center capacity and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. RUS will invest $2.5 billion to facilitate broadband deployment in rural communities.


NTIA and RUS will be accepting applications for loans, grants and loan/grant combinations to be awarded by each agency under a single application form. Applications will be accepted beginning July 14, 2009, through 5:00 p.m. EDT on August 14, 2009.


This is the first of three rounds of funding the Agriculture and Commerce Departments will provide.


Public workshops in July to share information about the funding availabilities and the application process. Forums will be held in Boston, Mass.; Charleston, W.Va.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Memphis, Tenn.; Lonoke, Ark.; Birmingham, Ala.; Billings, Mont.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Los Angeles, Calif.

http://www.broadbandusa.govhttp://www.usda.gov

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