You are here

Commerce Department's NTIA Awards Grants for Broadband Mapping and Planning in 10 States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
January 12, 2010

News Media Contact:

WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced that it has awarded grants to fund broadband mapping and planning activities in Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas under NTIA's State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program. The program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will increase broadband access and adoption through better data collection and broadband planning. The data will be displayed in NTIA's national broadband map, a tool that will inform policymakers' efforts and provide consumers with improved information on the broadband Internet services available to them.

NTIA received applications representing all 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia to participate in the program, meaning that all governments that were eligible to apply for grants did so, whether directly or through a designated entity. NTIA has now awarded 51 grants totaling approximately $97 million under the program, including today's announcement, and the agency expects to finish announcing awards under this program in early 2010.

"Congress rightly recognized that increasing broadband access and adoption in communities being left behind in the 21st Century economy depends on better data collection and broadband planning. Our goal is to carry out this initiative on schedule and at the lowest cost necessary to do the job right," said Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling. "We have now awarded all but five of the grants in the program and will continue to work with the remaining applicants so they can bring the benefits of broadband to more of their citizens."

Connecticut:  NTIA has awarded the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a two-year period in Connecticut, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.8 million. The Department of Public Utility Control is the designated entity for the state of Connecticut.

Hawaii:  NTIA has awarded Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs approximately $1.4 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Hawaii, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.9 million. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is the designated entity for the state of Hawaii.

Kentucky:  NTIA has awarded the Commonwealth Office of Technology approximately $1.6 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Kentucky, bringing the total grant award to nearly $2.1 million. The Office of Technology is the designated entity for the state of Kentucky.

Maine:  NTIA has awarded the ConnectME Authority approximately $1.3 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $440,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Maine, bringing the total grant award to nearly $1.8 million. The ConnectME Authority is the designated entity for the state of Maine.

Mississippi: NTIA has awarded the Mississippi Office of the Governor approximately $1.5 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Mississippi, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2 million.  The Office of the Governor is the designated entity for the state of Mississippi.

Nebraska:  NTIA has awarded the Nebraska Public Service Commission approximately $1.6 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a two-year period in Nebraska, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.1 million. The Public Service Commission is the designated entity for the state of Nebraska.

New Mexico:  NTIA has awarded the New Mexico Department of Information Technology approximately $1.4 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in New Mexico, bringing the total grant award to approximately $1.9 million. The Department of Information Technology is the designated entity for the state of New Mexico.

Oklahoma:  NTIA has awarded the Oklahoma Office of State Finance approximately $1.6 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Oklahoma, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.1 million. The Office of State Finance is the designated entity for the state of Oklahoma.

Pennsylvania:  NTIA has awarded the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development approximately $1.7 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Pennsylvania, bringing the total grant award to approximately $2.2 million. The Department of Community and Economic Development is the designated entity for the state of Pennsylvania.

Texas:  NTIA has awarded Connected Nation approximately $2.5 million for broadband data collection and mapping activities over a two-year period and nearly $500,000 for broadband planning activities over a five-year period in Texas, bringing the total grant award to approximately $3 million. Connected Nation is the designated entity for the state of Texas.

NTIA carefully evaluates each application to determine whether the applicant directly represents the interests of the state. This state-applicant connection is especially critical in the context of the broadband planning activities that NTIA considers the responsibility of the state. The State of Texas is providing direction and supervision to the planning activities that will be undertaken by its designated entity, which is a non-state government entity, to ensure that planning funds are used to address the specific needs of the state.

Awardees will collect and verify the availability, speed, and location of broadband across the state. This activity is to be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2009 and 2011, with the data to be presented in a clear and accessible format to the public, government, and the research community.

The State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program is a matching grant program that implements the joint purposes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA). The program will provide grants to assist states or their designees in gathering and verifying state-specific data on the availability, speed, location, and technology type of broadband services. The data they collect and compile will also be used to develop publicly available state-wide broadband maps and to inform the comprehensive, interactive, and searchable national broadband map that NTIA is required by the Recovery Act to create and make publicly available by February 17, 2011.

The national broadband map will publicly display the geographic areas where broadband service is available; the technology used to provide the service; the speeds of the service; and broadband service availability at public schools, libraries, hospitals, colleges, universities, and public buildings. The national map will also be searchable by address and show the broadband providers offering service in the corresponding census block or street segment.

All awardees, except the Territorial governments in Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, are required to contribute at least 20 percent non-federal matching funds toward project costs. In addition, while the BDIA mandates that each state may designate only one eligible entity to receive funds under the program, each state's applicant will be carefully evaluated and must meet the standards described in NTIA's Notice of Funds Availability for this program in order to receive funding.

U.S. Department of Commerce's NTIA serves as the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on communications and information policy.  For more information about the NTIA, visit www.ntia.doc.gov.