National Telecommunications and Information Administration
of Telecommunications and Information Applications
NTIA's Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications (OTIA) assists public and non-profit entities in effectively using telecommunications and information technologies to better provide public services and advance other national goals. In addition, the office is administering programs that are helping the nation's transition to digital television.
The U.S. Congress has appropriated $4.7 billion to establish a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program for awards to eligible entities to develop and expand broadband services to rural and underserved areas and improve access to broadband by public safety agencies. Of these funds, $250 million will be available for innovative programs that encourage sustainable adoption of broadband services; at least $200 million will be available to upgrade technology and capacity at public computing centers, including community colleges and public libraries; $10 million will be a transfer to the Office of Inspector General for the purposes of BTOP audits and oversight. Up to $350 million of the BTOP funding is designated for the development and maintenance of statewide broadband inventory maps.
The TV Converter Box Coupon Program allowed all U.S. households to redeem up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two digital-to-analog television converter boxes. The Coupon Program has ended. Please go to Program's web page for more information and statistics.
The Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) Grant Program awarded $968,385,000 in fiscal year 2007 to fund interoperable communications projects from the 56 States and Territories. The awards will help state and local first responders improve public safety communications during a natural or man--made disaster.
The Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) is a competitive grant program that helps public broadcasting stations, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, and nonprofit organizations construct facilities to bring educational and cultural programs to the American Public using broadcast and nonbroadcast telecommunications technologies. Under the program's authority, funds are also allocated to support the Pan-Pacific Educational and Cultural Experiments by Satellite (PEACESAT) project. PEACESAT provides satellite-delivered education, medical, and environmental emergency telecommunications to many small-island nations and territories in the Pacific Ocean region.
The Low Power Television and Translator Assistance Programs include the Low-Power TV and Translator Digital-to-Analog Conversion (Conversion) Program and the Low-Power TV and Translator Upgrade (Upgrade) Program. The Conversion Program provide funds to assist low-power TV broadcast stations, Class A television stations, television translator stations, and television booster stations ("low-power facilities") to broadcast in analog after the February 17, 2009 digital conversion deadline for full power television stations. The Upgrade Program will reimburse the costs to upgrade these types of facilities in rural communities to digital transmission.
The New York City 9/11 Program provided the Metropolitan Television Alliance with $29.5 million for the design and deployment costs of the temporary digital television broadcast system in the New York City area until a permanent facility is constructed on top of the Freedom Tower.
The Technology Opportunities Program
last awarded grants in 2004, and NTIA is managing existing
grants to their completion. TOP grants played an important
role in realizing the vision of an information society
by demonstrating practical applications of new telecommunications
and information technologies in the public and non-profit
sector. The TOP
website provides information about the grants that
were funded by the program.