CWA partnered with Connected Nation, the Alliance for Digital Equality, the American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Grange to host a webinar for state government and agency leaders about the Notice of Funding Availability for broadband stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), who are coordinating the disbursal of funds, released the document last week.
At the webinar, the participants learned the details of the grant process. "The ARRA provides states with a monumental opportunity to invest in broadband technology and develop meaningful mapping resources to assess and expand broadband availability," said Brian Mefford, Connected Nation Chairman and CEO.
States, companies and organizations will be applying for over $7 billion in federal aid, $350 million of which is available through the Broadband Data Improvement Act of 2008.
The funds will primarily be used for narrowing the digital divide through broadband access expansion, creating broadband access maps, and improving broadband speeds.
Over 300 people participated in the webinar representing all 50 states and some US territories. This money is an integral step in reaching the goals of CWA and achieving universal broadband access.