Broadband Stimulus Grants Expected on ThursdayBroadband Stimulus, States December 16th, 2009
Winter Casey, Reporter, BroadbandBreakfast.com
WASHINGTON, December 16, 2009 – The White House Office of Vice President Joe Biden is planning on traveling to Dawsonville, Georgia, on Thursday, to make an announcement on the stimulus act Congress approved in February. He will discuss how the recovery act investments are “improving communities and creating jobs in Georgia and rural areas across the country.” Biden will be joined by Governor Sonny Perdue.
Part of the stimulus package is $7.2 billion of federal funding devoted to expanding broadband penetration across the country. The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities, were charged with distributing the money through grant awards. The first awards were initially planned to be announced in November but are now supposed to be announced sometime this month.
Twice in the last two weeks, President Obama and Biden have mentioned that broadband funding was on its way. “Already, more than 10,000 of these projects have been funded through the Recovery Act. And by design, Recovery Act work on roads, bridges, water systems, Superfund sites, broadband networks, and clean energy projects will all be ramping up in the months ahead. It was planned this way for two reasons: so the impact would be felt over a two year period; and, more importantly, because we wanted to do this right,” said Obama last week.
Earlier this month, Biden said that within the next month billions will be given to broadband and high-speed rail investments, which means the grants should be announced soon.
“And by design, the items in the act which have the biggest impact are yet to come. Within the next two weeks to a month, another roughly $13 billion is going to be announced rolling out in terms of both investments in broadband and high-speed rail, and competitive education and infrastructure,” he said at the opening session of the White House Jobs and Economic Growth Forum.