NTIA announced the first awards of the broadband stimulus program today. Funding will come from NTIA’s State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program. The awards are going to fund activities in California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Vermont. Approximately $5.9 million in funding has been awarded for state broadband mapping.
“Broadband will bring many benefits to the Nation, such as job creation and innovation, but these benefits have been delayed by the lack of comprehensive, reliable data on the availability of broadband service,” said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. “This program addresses an important need and will provide a valuable tool in bringing broadband and jobs to more Americans.”
The grants were awarded to the following programs:
- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is awarded approximately $1.8 million; the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) is awarded approximately $1.3 million; the Rural Economic Development Center, Inc. (e-NC Authority) is awarded approximately $1.6 million; and the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) is awarded approximately $1.2 million to collect and verify the availability, speed, and location of broadband across the states of California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Vermont, respectively. This activity is to be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2009 and 2011, with initial data coming available in November 2009 to inform broadband policy efforts. Awardees are to present the data in a clear and accessible format to the public, government, and the research community.
- The CPUC is also awarded $500,000 for the cost of broadband planning activities in California over four years, bringing its grant award total to approximately $2.3 million. In addition, the e-NC Authority is awarded approximately $435,000 for the cost of broadband planning activities in North Carolina over five years, bringing its grant award total to over $2 million.
Of course this is just ‘pocket change’ when compared to the overall $7.2 billion program. The real money awards that fund actual broadband construction should be revealed next month.