SSTI has a special issue about the Federal Stimulus program. The section is titled "Increasing Access to Broadband". Here are the highlights:
- ARRA will provide $7.2 billion to upgrade the country's broadband infrastructure.
- NTIA will receive $4.7 billion, in partnership with the FCC, to establish a broadband service development and expansion program.
- The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program will support broadband improvements by awarding competitive grants to accelerate deployment and improve service at strategic institutions that are likely to create jobs or produce other public benefits.
- $350 million of this funding will support the State Broadband Data and Development Grant program, which will help develop and maintain a national broadband inventory map.
- $200 million of the NTIA funding will be used for competitive grants to expand the capacity of public computing centers
- $250 million will fund competitive grants for innovative programs to encourage sustainable broadband adoption.
- Department of Agriculture (USDA) is slated to receive $2.5 billion for its distance learning, tele-medicine and broadband program. USDA Rural Development provides loans, including a Broadband Access Loan to cover the costs of construction, improvement and acquisition of facilities.
- Other prime objectives: extend electronic resources to rural schools, improve rural health care and provide financial assistance to broadband providers who extend service to unserved communities.
- ARRA includes $19 billion in funding to promote the development and implementation of interoperable Health Information Technology (HIT). The $2 billion in discretionary funds and $17 billion in investments and incentives through Medicare and Medicaid will be used to improve the quality of medical care in the U.S. and create jobs in the information technology sector.
On another note PC Mag asks What the FCC's National Broadband Policy Must Do For Business