For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 11, 2001
Contact: Ranjit de Silva
NTIA ANNOUNCES $42.5 MILLION IN FY 2001 TELECOMMUNICATIONS GRANTS
Increased Funding Available for Technology Opportunities Program
WASHINGTON, DC - Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Gregory L. Rohde announced today that approximately $42.5 million in grants will be awarded in 2001 by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to state, local, and tribal governments, colleges and universities, and non-profit entities. The purpose of the matching grants is to extend the benefits of advanced telecommunications technologies to all Americans, especially those in inaccessible, rural and underserved urban communities.
"Since 1994, the TOP program has reflected my philosophy of digital inclusion by helping communities to develop and to explore useful applications of new technologies that deliver the benefits of the digital era," Commerce Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said.
"Funding for the Technology Opportunities Program (TOP) has been increased by Congress to reflect the growing importance of information technologies in every day American life. Each year, TOP has to make hard choices in the projects it funds. Increased funding for this year means that TOP will be able to fund many of the excellent, worthwhile projects it attracts each year," Rohde said. In FY 2000, about $12.5 million was available for the grant program.
NTIA will immediately begin accepting applications for this year's competition. Applications are due by March 22, 2001. Grant applicants are encouraged to develop projects of national significance which demonstrate how digital network technologies can be used to extend valuable services and opportunities to all Americans, especially the underserved.
NTIA will hold a series of free regional Technical Assistance Workshops to discuss the TOP funding priorities, application requirements, and lessons learned from previous TOP grantees. This is a key opportunity for interested parties to understand the TOP goals and process, and meet representatives of other organizations interested in the TOP program. The Technical Assistance Workshops will be held on February 2, in Washington, DC; February 6, in Denver, Colorado; and February 8, in Saint Louis, Missouri. Online registration for the workshops is now available at www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/top/conferenceworkshops/workshops.htm.
Information about the program's regulations and procedures can be found in the Notice of Availability of Funds, published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2001. Copies of the Application Kit, including the Notice and guidelines for completing an application, can be downloaded from the TOP web site, www.ntia.doc.gov/otiahome/top/. For more information about TOP and the Technical Assistance Workshops, call (202) 482-2048, or e-mail to email@example.com.
TOP is administered by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA serves as the principal adviser to the President, Vice President and Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international communications and information issues and represents the Executive Branch before the Congress, other Federal agencies, foreign governments and international organizations.