Obama makes $795M in broadband grants
Second round of economic stimulus law grants now flowing
President Barack Obama has made a second round of economic stimulus law grants for broadband development totaling $795 million to fund projects in rural areas and others.
The grants announced on July 2 will be distributed through the Agriculture and Commerce departments for 66 projects and will serve 900 health care facilities and 2,400 schools, according to a news release. The grants also will go to businesses, libraries and transportation centers.
The grants are being supplemented with $200 million in private investments.
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“In the short term, we expect these projects to create about 5,000 construction and installation jobs around the country. And once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in the digital age will be immeasurable,” Obama said in a news conference.
Overall, the stimulus law is making available $7.2 billion in investments for expanding broadband access – $4.7 billion through Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and $2.5 billion funded through Agriculture’s Broadband Initiatives program.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.