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Secretary Gary Locke Announces Recovery Act Investments to Expand Broadband Internet Access and Spur Economic Growth

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, September 13, 2010

CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

202-482-4883

Secretary Gary Locke Announces Recovery Act Investments to Expand Broadband Internet Access and Spur Economic Growth

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced 35 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments to help bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs, and improve education and healthcare across the country. The investments, totaling $482.4 million in grants, will fund projects that pave the way to bring enhanced high-speed Internet access to millions of households and businesses and link thousands of schools, hospitals, libraries, and public safety offices to the information superhighway.

 “In a globalized 21st century economy, when you don’t have regular access to high-speed Internet, you don’t have access to all the educational, business and employment opportunities it provides,” Locke said. “These critical Recovery Act investments will create jobs and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable economic growth in communities across America.”

 “These projects will have a real, lasting impact on communities across the country,” Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling said. “We are investing in ‘middle mile’ networks that bring high-speed Internet access to communities and connect key anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries, and hospitals. We are also investing in projects to improve access and spur Internet usage and adoption. This allows us to get the most bang for every grant dollar and award projects that will address communities’ broadband problems while creating jobs and facilitating  sustainable economic growth.”

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service are administering a nearly $7 billion Recovery Act initiative to expand access to and adoption of broadband services. NTIA is utilizing approximately $4 billion of that funding for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.

Today’s announcement is part of the second round of BTOP grant award announcements, which will continue on a rolling basis. NTIA will make all BTOP awards by September 30, 2010, and has thus far announced 216 BTOP grants that benefit communities across the nation.

The following grants were announced today:

Comprehensive Community Infrastructure awards:

Arizona: GovNET LLC

This $39.3 million grant, with an additional $12.7 million in matching contributions, will allow GovNET to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Arizona. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 280 community institutions, with a focus on improving public safety, healthcare delivery, and other critical government services.

Colorado: Centennial Board of Cooperative Educational Services 

This $100.6 million grant, with an additional $34.7 million in matching contributions, will allow Centennial Board of Cooperative Educational Services to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Colorado, with a particular focus on serving rural and underserved school districts. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 230 community institutions.

Connecticut: Department of Information Technology

This $93.9 million grant, with an additional $23.5 million in matching contributions, will allow the Connecticut Department of Information Technology to deploy over 5,500 miles of fiber network to upgrade and expand existing broadband infrastructure and improve the state’s public safety and educational services.

Illinois: Northern Illinois University

This $46.1 million grant, with an additional $22.4 million in matching contributions, will allow Northern Illinois University to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in areas of northwestern Illinois. The project plans to improve broadband access for more than 500 community institutions.

Missouri: Sho-Me Technologies, LLC

This $26.6 million grant, with an additional $11.4 million in matching contributions, will allow Sho-Me Technologies to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Missouri. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 100 community institutions. The project also plans to foster SmartGrid applications for better-informed and more efficient energy use in the region.

Montana: Ronan Telephone Company

This $13.8 million grant, with an additional $5.9 million in matching contributions, will allow the Ronan Telephone Company to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service across northwest Montana, including several tribal regions and areas of the state with high unemployment rates. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 30 community institutions.

Rhode Island: OSHEAN, Inc.

This $21.7 million grant, with an additional $10.7 million in matching contributions, will allow OSHEAN to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 50 community institutions and expand high-capacity broadband services for higher education, research, remote healthcare, and economic development and job training uses.

Tennessee: Onwav, Inc.

This $5.2 million grant, with an additional $1.3 million in matching contributions, will allow Onwav to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in north-central Tennessee. The project plans to improve broadband access for more than 150 community institutions.

Texas: Region 18 Education Service Center

This $11.9 million grant, with an additional $5.3 million in matching contributions, will allow Region 18 Education Service Center to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service in Texas. The project plans to improve broadband access for as many as 200 community institutions.

Utah: Ute Indian Tribe

This $1.4 million grant, with an additional $630,000 in matching contributions, will allow the Ute Indian Tribe to offer affordable middle-mile broadband service for the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah as well as and nearby areas in the state. The project plans to improve broadband access for approximately 40 community institutions, enhancing distance learning, telehealth, and public safety applications.

Public Computer Center awards:

Alabama: Auburn University

This $4.6 million grant, with an additional $1.2 million in matching contributions, will allow Auburn University to deploy 1,000 new computer workstations and upgrade nearly 500 more at 94 rural libraries and 21 high schools in the state of Alabama. The project also plans to offer over 1,000 online courses for users seeking educational opportunities, along with distance learning and telemedicine applications.

Alaska: Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

This $5.4 million grant, with an additional $2.9 million in matching contributions, will allow the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development to enhance public computer centers at 104 libraries statewide and launch an innovative free public videoconferencing network available to all Alaska public library users.

California: Youth Policy Institute, Inc.

This $5.6 million grant, with an additional $1.4 million in matching contributions, will allow Youth Policy Institute to increase access to public computer centers by deploying more than 1,500 computer workstations in 80 public computer centers in California. The project also plans to provide job training services to residents in the areas with a focus on predominantly Hispanic communities and high-risk populations.

Georgia: Professional Resources Management of Rabun, LLC

This $1.1 million grant, with an additional $870,000 in matching contributions, will allow Professional Resources Management of Rabun, LLC to deploy 30 new workstations in two new computer centers to improve workforce development, education, and healthcare services in Rabun County, Georgia. The project also plans to improve access to health information for the public and launch a videoconferencing telehealth initiative to allow healthcare providers to interact and share information statewide.

Kentucky: Louisville-Jefferson County Metro

This $744,000 grant, with an additional $487,000 in matching contributions, will allow Louisville-Jefferson County Metro to deploy approximately 130 new workstations in 18 upgraded public computer centers in Kentucky. The project also plans to hire professional librarians to provide training services for youth and economically vulnerable populations in area. 

Missouri: Missouri Department of Higher Education

This $5 million grant, with an additional $1.6 million in matching contributions, will allow the Missouri Department of Higher Education to expand a network of public computer centers across the state. The project plans to establish and enhance 23 public computer centers in Missouri, with a particular focus on serving community college students and economically disadvantaged residents.

New York: City of New York

This $13.9 million grant, with an additional $7.2 million in matching contributions, will allow the City of New York to improve public computer centers by deploying 480 new workstations and upgrading nearly 550 more at over 90 locations throughout the city, focusing in particular on high-poverty areas. The project also plans to create after-school programs and provide test preparation and workforce education for economically vulnerable communities.

Ohio: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

This $2.2 million grant, with an additional $927,000 in matching contributions, will allow the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library to enhance and expand public computer access for Toledo residents by deploying approximately 110 new computer workstations and upgrading approximately 20 more at two public locations in Ohio. The project also plans to deliver free education and training classes on health awareness, computer literacy, and job skills for area residents.

Texas: City of El Paso

This $8.4 million grant, with an additional $4.6 million in matching contributions, will allow the City of El Paso to increase public computer access by deploying 750 new computer workstations and upgrading nearly 650 more in nearly 100 public computer centers in the city. The project also plans to provide economically vulnerable populations with computer technology training. 

Texas: Technology for All, Inc.

This $9.6 million grant, with an additional $2.7 million in matching contributions, will allow Technology for All to enhance public computer centers across southwest Texas by deploying approximately 500 new workstations and upgrading 780 more in 70 public computer centers. The program will also provide access and digital literacy services to low-income and vulnerable populations.

Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority

This $3 million grant, with an additional $1.4 million in matching contributions, will allow the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority to establish and upgrade more than 40 public computer centers across the territory. The project plans to provide access to more than 700 new computer workstations, 420 of which will be a part of a unique telework program to train island residents for work-at-home call center jobs.

Sustainable Broadband Adoption awards:

Alabama: Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs

This $1.2 million grant, with an additional $1.2 million in matching contributions, will allow the Alabama Department of Economic & Community Affairs to help bridge the digital divide and promote engagement in the Internet economy throughout the state. The program plans to create a broadband awareness campaign and interactive training program to foster demand and educate residents about the benefits of broadband, reaching out in particular to economically vulnerable populations.

Alaska: University of Alaska Fairbanks

This $4.5 million grant, with an additional $2.4 in matching contributions, will allow the University of Alaska Fairbanks to promote broadband adoption and access across the state. The project will provide computer skills and broadband awareness training to residents in remote villages across the state, particularly targeting dozens of Native American villages that are most in need of improved service and adoption levels.

California: University of California, Davis

This $9.1 million grant, with an additional $4.7 million in matching contributions, will allow the University of California, Davis to improve and expand telehealth service for California residents. The project will promote adoption of an existing telehealth broadband network in the state, establish 15 telehealth communities to serve as models for sustainable healthcare delivery, and equip community anchor facilities with tools and training to improve healthcare literacy via broadband access.

Georgia: Georgia Partnership for Telehealth, Inc.

This $2.5 million grant, with an additional $1.2 million in matching contributions, will allow Georgia Partnership for Telehealth to connect community-serving institutions, like hospitals, schools, and public health departments in the state, by expanding an existing telehealth network to 67 additional community anchor sites. The project also plans to implement a training and awareness program for residents and rural healthcare providers to improve healthcare delivery in areas of the state with high levels of poverty.

Illinois: MyWay Village, Inc.

This $4.7 million grant, with an additional $2.1 million in matching contributions, will allow MyWay Village to increase broadband adoption within the senior communities in Illinois. The project plans to provide digital literacy training and technical support, offer workforce skill development particularly targeted for seniors, and increase access to computers and Internet connections.

Iowa: Central Iowa Hospital Corporation

This $8.3 million grant, with an additional $6.2 million in matching contributions, will allow the Central Iowa Hospital Corporation to bring high-speed broadband capabilities to rural medical facilities across underserved parts of Iowa and stimulate job creation within the rural health sector of the state. The project plans to provide 2,400 hours of teacher-led training each year for approximately 7,900 residents in the region over the three-year life of the project.

Massachusetts: City of Boston

This $4.3 million grant, with an additional $1.5 million in matching contributions, will allow the City of Boston to increase broadband adoption in low-income areas of the city by expanding access to computer equipment as well as providing computer skills and broadband awareness training to as many as 4,200 residents over the life of the project.

Maine: Axiom Technologies, LLC

This $1.4 million grant, with an additional $445,000 in matching contributions, will allow Axiom Technologies, LLC to increase broadband adoption in Maine by providing broadband training, access, equipment, and support to community-serving institutions and economically vulnerable populations in the state. The project also intends to launch a pilot project to help local industries and small businesses utilize broadband technologies.

Michigan: Eastern UP Intermediate School District

This $3.2 million grant, with an additional $1.3 million in matching contributions, will allow the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District to spur broadband adoption among economically disadvantaged students in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula by providing 3,500 computers and supporting software to economically disadvantaged students.

New York: City of New York

This $6 million grant, with an additional $2.5 million in matching contributions, will allow the City of New York to help at-risk students develop skills to graduate and successfully transition to college or a career by providing them with computer training, refurbished computer equipment, and expanded Internet access at home for the students and their families.

New York: Wildwood Programs, Inc.

This $845,000 grant, with an additional $259,000 in matching contributions, will allow Wildwood Programs to upgrade broadband services and deploy videoconferencing and other technology tools to 75 facilities in upstate New York. The project will focus in particular on human service organizations that serve people with disabilities in the area. 

Pennsylvania: The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition

This $11.8 million grant, with an additional $5.6 million in matching contributions, will allow the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition to address the lag in broadband adoption in urban Philadelphia. The project will conduct strategic outreach, access, and training programs for residents with no or limited at-home access, focusing in particular on the most economically and socially vulnerable populations.

Texas: Mexican Institute of Greater Houston, Inc.

This $2 million grant, with an additional $596,000 in matching contributions, will allow the Mexican Institute of Greater Houston to increase broadband adoption by creating outreach, awareness, and training programs in the area that will target Hispanic and minority communities, as well as conduct technology training sessions in Spanish for students and their families.

Virgin Islands: Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority

This $2.5 million grant, with an additional $1.2 million in matching contributions, will allow the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority to increase broadband subscribership and stimulate job growth in the U.S. Virgin Islands by providing digital literacy and job-skills training as well as launching a telework program with special training for job-seekers in the region.