A 28-page Broadband Funding Guide, released yesterday by the National Telecommunications and Infrastructure Administration, offers information for network operators about government funding programs covering broadband infrastructure, broadband literacy programs and other broadband costs. The guidebook is part of NTIA’s BroadbandUSA initiative, announced earlier this year by President Obama.
Government Broadband Funding Guide
While many network operators are familiar with FCC funding programs such as the Connect America Fund and USDA programs such as the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, they may be less familiar with some other funding sources detailed in the guidebook. For example, the Economic Development Administration funds projects in distressed areas through a Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance grant program. And the Department of Housing and Urban Development administers a Community Development Block Grant program that offers funding for projects targeting low- and moderate-income people.
The guidebook has a convenient matrix listing all of the government broadband funding programs detailed in the book, with check-off columns indicating whether a specific program covers infrastructure deployment, adoption and literacy, public computers, planning, and/or research.
In a blog post, the NTIA cautions that the guide is “not meant to provide an exhaustive list of all federal funding opportunities.” Instead, the post notes that the guide can be a starting point for communities’ investigation into funding options. The blog post also advises interested parties to check out another NTIA publication titled Introduction to Effective Public-Private Partnerships released earlier this year.
BroadbandUSA will be releasing additional publications to assist communities pursuing broadband deployments “in the coming weeks and months,” NTIA said.