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.


Related story:

FCC wants faster Internet for government buildings


“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.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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