CONTACT: Paige Darden
(202) 482-7002


WASHINGTON, DC -- The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today that it will accept applications for the 1998 round of the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP). For fiscal year 1998, approximately $17 million in grant funds will be awarded. The deadline for submitting applications is 9:00 p.m., EST, March 12, 1998.

TIIAP, a highly competitive, merit-based grant program, provides seed money for innovative, practical projects that extend the benefits of advanced telecommunications and information technology to rural and urban underserved Americans. Since its inception in 1994, the information infrastructure grant program has funded 332 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. TIIAP has awarded more than $100 million in matching grant funds, while leveraging $150 million in local matching funds, to non-profit organizations, such as schools, libraries, hospitals, public safety entities, and state and local governments.

Priorities in the 1998 grant round include funding projects which will serve as nationally significant demonstrations of how telecommunications and information technologies can be used to extend valuable services and opportunities to all Americans, especially the underserved. TIIAP is looking for innovative projects that use the new tools of the information age to strengthen communities, improve the delivery of public services, promote public safety, and enhance health, education, culture, and lifelong learning. TIIAP seeks projects that can serve as models for other communities to emulate, thereby ensuring that the benefits of an advanced information infrastructure is realized by all Americans, regardless of economic status or whether they live in urban or rural areas.

On January 15, NTIA will hold a short public briefing to introduce the 1998 TIIAP competition. The briefing will be held at the Department of Commerce, Room 4830, at 10 a.m. NTIA will also hold a series of regional "Outreach Workshops and Partnering Events" to discuss the TIIAP program, introduce the 1998 TIIAP grant round, and discuss program funding priorities and application requirements.

The workshops are a key opportunity for interested parties to understand the TIIAP goals and application process and meet representatives of other organizations interested in the TIIAP program. The Outreach Workshops will be held on January 26, in Seattle, Washington; January 30, in Minneapolis, Minnesota; February 4, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; February 6, in Atlanta, Georgia; and February 9, in Dallas, Texas.

Information about the application process and requirements can be found in the Notice of Availability of Funds, published in the Federal Register on January 5, 1998. For more information about TIIAP and the Outreach Workshops, visit the NTIA web site at, or call (202) 482-2048, or e-mail to

TIIAP 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.