Grants spread telecom wealth
- By Eric Kulisch
- Jan 16, 2001
Technology Opportunities Program
Congress has more than tripled the amount of money available for a grant
program designed to spread telecommunications technologies to rural and
underserved urban communities.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced
last week that it will award about $42.5 million this year to state, local
and tribal governments, schools, libraries, health care providers, colleges
and universities and nonprofit community organizations.
Last year's budget for the Technology Opportunities Program was $12.5
Since its inception in 1994, TOP formerly the Telecommunications and
Information Infrastructure Assistance Program has awarded 456 grants totaling
$149.7 million. Companies and foundations have provided an additional $221
million in local matching funds.
Applications for this year's competition are due by March 22. Awards
will be announced in the fall.
Program officials look for model projects that demonstrate innovative
uses of network technology, especially in underserved regions. NTIA, part
of the U.S. Commerce Department, disseminates lessons learned from these
projects to other communities.
NTIA will hold a series of free regional workshops for interested parties
to learn about funding priorities, application requirements and best practices
from previous TOP grantees. The workshops will be held Feb. 2 at Commerce
headquarters in Washington, D.C.; Feb. 6 in Denver; and Feb. 8 in St. Louis.
For registration information go to the Technical Assistance Workshops 2001 page.