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Dept. of Energy increases maximum award available for Smart Grid programs

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced a dramatic increase in federal funding for the development of a nationwide "smart" electric power grid. The Department of Energy increased the maximum award available under the Recovery Act's Smart Grid Investment Grant Program from $20 million to $200 million. For Smart Grid Demonstration Projects, maximum funds available were increased from $40 million to $100 million. The Department of Energy added that it would provide funding to a diversity of applications - from small projects to larger projects. Read More »

Pending Verizon sale in West Virginia would set back broadband deployment

Verizon Communications is proposing to sell landlines in 14 states to Frontier Communications Corp. - a move that has raised concerns from the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The sale could be a setback to the push for expanded broadband access to underserved and unserved areas. Without expanded broadband access, stories like that of Gabrielle Ramirez, whose long-undiagnosed disease was identified using telemedicine, would not be possible. Read More »

FCC releases rural broadband report, Virginia unveils broadband maps

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report on rural broadband strategy acknowledges that we do not have the data to determine precisely our rural broadband gaps. The state of Virginia is one of a dozen states proactively to tackle this challenge with comprehensive mapping. Governor Kaine released the state's first broadband availability map, which displays the accessibility of high-speed Internet access in an easy to comprehend manner. The FCC's report continues on to urge better communication among federal agencies, states and other groups with an interest in broadband deployment and adoption. Read More »

National broadband plan must include public hearings, benchmarks for progress

In comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Communications Workers of America (CWA) commended the FCC for moving forward promptly to develop a national broadband plan. CWA recommends that the Commission hold a series of public hearings to solicit guidance for the plan, set specific benchmarks to increase broadband speeds to the home, establish tax incentives to encourage broadband build out and upgrades, and safeguard consumers and create quality jobs. Read More »

U.S. lags in broadband impede economy

America's 42 million low-income residents will only marginally participate in a "knowledge economy" unless Internet access to job training skills is increased, according to Dr. Eileen Applebaum, director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University. At a symposium entitled "Economic Empowerment for Low-Income Workers Through Broadband Training," Applebaum joined other panelists who touted the necessity of an aggressive expansion of U.S. broadband capacity. The United States currently ranks fifteenth in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Read More »

Broadband stimulus progress report stipulates grant application deadlines

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the first quarterly report on the progress of the national broadband plan stipulated in the economic stimulus package. The report highlights the timetable for the grant application process and the beginning of a 7.2 billion-dollar federal investment in improving America's nationwide broadband services. Read More »

Congressional Black Caucus makes recommendations to fight digital divide

The Congressional Black Caucus issued a strong endorsement for increased funding of broadband deployment, as part of a series of recommendations on major U.S. policy areas for the 21st Century. Read More »

Online series highlights real-life benefits of public broadband access

Speed Matters partner One Economy recently teamed up with award-winning actor, director and producer Robert Townsend to create Diary of a Single Mom, an online series that demonstrates the real-life benefits of broadband access. Read More »

OECD releases latest rankings; U.S. remains at #15

The United States remained stagnant - at 15th - in the latest Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) broadband penetration rankings. Read More »

Georgia preparing to apply for broadband stimulus money

Georgia is one of many states that is trying to position itself to receive the funding for broadband deployment in the first round of grants from the economic stimulus package. Read More »

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