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IP Updates

Frequently Asked Questions - NTIA Broadband Technology Program ("NTIA Program")

March 12, 2009

IP Updates

Frequently Asked Questions - NTIA Broadband Technology Program ("NTIA Program")

March 12, 2009

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How much funding is available for the NTIA Program?
What are the purposes of the NTIA Program?
Who is eligible for a grant under the NTIA Program?
What can NTIA Program grants be used for?
What are the relevant deadlines associated with the NTIA Program?
Are there any limitations on the federal share of funding a project?

How much funding is available for the NTIA Program?

$4.7 billion has been appropriated for NTIA (in consultation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)) to administer the new program. Of this amount:


  • $4.35 billion for competitive grants


    • at least $200 million for competitive grants for expanding public computer center capacity, including at community colleges and public libraries
    • at least $250 million for competitive grants for innovative programs to encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service
    • $10 million for audits and oversight

  • $350 million for developing and maintaining a broadband inventory map
What are the purposes of the NTIA Program?

The purposes of the NTIA Program are as follows:

  • Provide broadband service to consumers in unserved areas

  • Provide improved access to broadband service to consumers in underserved areas

  • Provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment and support to:

    • schools

    • libraries

    • medical and healthcare providers

    • community colleges and other institutions of higher education

    • other community support organizations and entities to facilitate greater use of broadband services

    • organizations/agencies that facilitate broadband use by low-income, unemployed, and aged

    • job-creating facilities

    • improve access to, and use of, broadband service by public safety agencies

    • stimulate demand for broadband, economic growth, and job creation.
Who is eligible for a grant under the NTIA Program?

The following entities are eligible for NTIA Program grants:

  • States and political subdivisions

  • Indian tribes

  • Non-profits

  • “Any other entity, including a broadband service or infrastructure provider” found to be in the “public interest”
What can NTIA Program grants be used for?

NTIA Program grants can be used for the following:

  • Acquire equipment, instrumentation, networking capability, hardware and software, digital network technology, and infrastructure for broadband services

  • Construct and deploy broadband service related infrastructure

  • Ensure access to broadband service by community anchor institutions

  • Facilitate access to broadband service by low-income, unemployed, aged or otherwise vulnerable populations

  • Construct and deploy broadband facilities that improve public safety broadband communications services

  • Undertake such other projects and activities consistent with the purposes of the program
What are the relevant deadlines associated with the NTIA Program?

All awards must be made before the end of fiscal year 2010. All projects supported by the NTIA Program must be completed within 2 years following the award.

Are there any limitations on the federal share of funding a project?

Generally, the federal share of any project may not exceed 80%. However, exceptions may be permitted if an applicant demonstrates the requisite “financial need”.


The above information is not intended as a comprehensive guide to, or analysis of, the ARRA or any particular program associated with the ARRA. It is intended as a general summary of relevant provisions of the ARRA to help identify potential funding opportunities. You should consult with competent counsel to determine the applicable legal requirements that apply in a given situation.

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