For Immediate Release:
September 28, 1998

Contact: Mary Hanley
(202) 482-4883
G 98 - 71
Karen Kirchgasser
(202) 482-7002

Commerce Secretary William M. Daley Announces $18.5 Million in Grants to
Non-Profit Organizations, State and Local Governments for Innovative Uses of Advanced Networking Technologies

Washington, DC - Commerce Secretary William M. Daley today announced $18.5 million in matching grants to 46 non-profit organizations and state and local governments across the United States. The Commerce Department grants will fund innovative uses of advanced networking technologies which bring the benefits of the Information Age to underserved areas of the country. The projects funded will improve delivery of social services, increase access to education, reduce the cost of health care, and enhance the capabilities of public safety officials.

"These grants provide critical seed money to help forge partnerships in local communities across the country ensuring that telecommunications technologies live up to their potential by enhancing community services, health care delivery, civic participation and much more," Secretary Daley said.

The Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) administers the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP), which awards matching grants annually to non-profit organizations and state, local and tribal governments, for innovative, yet practical, projects using information technologies. This year's 46 grant recipients were chosen from more than 750 applicants. The $18.5 million in TIIAP funds will be matched by $23.9 million in funding from non-Federal sources, resulting in a $42.4 million investment in our nation's information infrastructure.

Vice President Al Gore highlighted two TIIAP grants awarded to California organizations today. One grant in Los Angeles will give low-income residents information tools to better their living conditions and a project in San Francisco will coordinate services to people living with HIV/AIDS through the use of technology.

"New information technologies can only reach their full potential if they reach all Americans," Vice President Gore said. "Through these grants, more Americans will be able to use technology to better themselves, their communities and our Nation."

"This year's grant recipients are truly leading the way in putting to use new computer and information technologies to help strengthen our rural and economically disadvantaged communities," said Larry Irving, Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Administrator of NTIA. "This year we noticed several interesting and important trends. We were pleased to see an increasing number of public safety organizations using networking technology to enhance their ability to save lives and fight crime. Human service organizations are collaborating to provide more cost-efficient and comprehensive services by creating shared, easy-to-use, client-focused databases. And, rural communities are finding more ways to take advantage of the opportunities offered by advanced information technology."

Project examples include:

The TIIAP program was initiated in 1994. Since then, it has awarded $118 million in matching funds that has spurred nearly $280 million in total investments. Descriptions of each of the 46 grants, along with contact information, are posted on NTIA's website at

Bernadette McGuire-Rivera, Administrator of NTIA's Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications, encourages people who are interested in learning about the grant program to visit the website or call 202-482-2048 for more information.