Obama admin announces $1.8b in broadband awards

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced 94 new stimulus awards for broadband projects, totaling $1.8 billion in new federal grants and loans.

“Today’s investment in broadband technology will create jobs across the country and expand opportunities for millions of Americans and American companies,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. “In addition to bringing 21st century infrastructure to underserved communities and rural areas, these investments will begin to harness the power of broadband to improve education, health care and public safety.”

The economic stimulus package, signed into law last February, committed $7.2 billion to broadband projects, focusing heavily on new deployments, but also setting aside money for programs aimed at driving adoption and mapping the availability of service.

That figure shrank slightly last week with the enactment of the Education Jobs Fund, which siphoned off $302 million from the broadband grants to preserve teachers’ jobs.

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