NTIA updates broadband funding site
The changes will help state, local and tribal governments tap into federal funding opportunities to expand and improve internet access within their communities.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) updated its BroadbandUSA’s federal funding site, making it easier for potential state and local governments to find funding opportunities and information to support broadband planning, digital inclusion and deployment projects.
The site serves as a one-stop shop where state, local and tribal governments as well as schools, libraries and other community institutions can search for broadband funding resources by agency, program purpose and eligibility, NTIA said in an announcement.
According to NTIA, the site features more than 80 programs across 14 federal agencies including those funded through President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law such as the Department of Commerce’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment, Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure and Digital Equity Act programs.
In response to user feedback, NTIA added information to new program fields such as matching requirements, complementary federal funding options, speed and technical requirements for broadband infrastructure, criteria for eligible recipients and grant beneficiaries.
An earlier update narrowed down the program purpose field to three options – planning, broadband infrastructure deployment and digital inclusion – which NTIA noted in the 2021 Access Broadband report.
The revamping of the federal site is part of the national Internet for All effort, which aims to bring affordable, high-speed internet access to everyone in America for better education, employment opportunities and connections.
Funding applicants may also consult an interactive guide or PDF and spreadsheet formats for a more tailored search of programs that fit their needs.
These latest updates “will help ensure that the public has easy access to the most up-to-date information possible to best facilitate deployment, access and further economic and workforce development,” NTIA officials said in the announcement.