Better Broadband Better Lives

Obama Announces $795 Million in Broadband Grants

in Fiber/Recovery Act by

WASHINGTON July 2, 2010- Later today President Obama will announce the awarding of 66 broadband grants. The grants will total over $795 million with the award winners providing $200 million in outside investment. The awardees span 36 states and the District of Columbia.

A majority of the project are fiber based with 11 Fiber to the home projects, 13 fiber to the premises projects, there is no real difference between FTTH or FTTP. Generally FTTH is exclusively used for only residential properties whereas FTTP can be used for residences or small businesses. These networks are considerably faster than fiber to the node networks wherein a single fiber connection is shared amongst a number of homes.

Fiber to the Home / Fiber to the Premises

Additionally 9 fiber networks will be expanded and 1 ADSL2+ network will be implemented.

Five of the projects have some tribal component, including “Hopi Telecommunications, Inc. (HTI) will connect Jeddito, AZ with existing broadband infrastructure more than 60 miles away with this $3.6 million grant/loan. In addition, HTI will connect currently unserved residents of Jeddito and Spider Mound.  In addition to the jobs the project will create upfront, over 7,000 individuals stand to benefit, as do dozens of businesses and more than 20 community institutions.”

The projects are also not just purely broadband networks; the Iowa Health System received a $17.7 million grant to expand the system’s fiber network to connect 200 healthcare facilities. “Iowa Health System's project stands to benefit approximately 1.7 million people.  Additionally, 135,000 businesses and 1,800 other community institutions stand to benefit from the project.  Iowa Health System estimates that the project will directly create approximately 100 jobs upfront and help drive economic development in the community that creates jobs for years to come.”

One of the most innovative projects is the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) which plans to create a “nation-wide high-capacity network that will enable advanced networking features for more than 100,000 essential community anchor institutions”. The University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development received a $62.5 million grant and matched it with $34.3 million of their own funding.

A full list of the grantees can be found at:

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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