The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has announced a new searchable database of 50 federal broadband programs, spanning a dozen federal agencies with billions of dollars for broadband grants, loans and other resources. The database, created with help of participating federal agencies, fulfills a goal set out in the American Broadband Initiative announced in February to make it easier for community leaders to find federal funding and permitting information.
The federal programs provide funding for state and local governments, schools, libraries, small businesses and other community institutions that are interested in expanding broadband access. Applicants can search for programs by agency, program purpose and eligible recipients. The inventory includes well-known infrastructure efforts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission. A number of other programs offer grants and loans for targeted purposes or specific regions of the country.
As the U.S. works to fill the gaps in connectivity that persist despite significant investments, NTIA is developing a new mapping platform that paints a more precise picture of the current infrastructure and services that are available around the country. This will help policymakers make better decisions about how broadband funds should be allocated.
NTIA’s most recent Internet Use Survey found that nearly 28 million households did not use the Internet at home, including 5 million living in rural areas.