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NTIA AND RUS RELEASE NOFA FOR BROADBAND FUNDS UNDER ARRA

Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) jointly issued the first Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for broadband initiatives funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This NOFA makes available approximately $4 billion of the $7.2 billion in broadband funding under ARRA: $2.4 billion is allocated to RUS’ Broadband Initiatives Program ($1.2B for Last Mile projects, $800M for Middle Mile projects, and $325M for a national reserve), and $1.4 billion is allocated to NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program ($1.2B for broadband infrastructure, $50M for public computing centers, $150M for sustainable broadband adoption and $200M for a national reserve). A separate NOFA for the $350 million allocated to the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program is forthcoming. The NOFA defines key terms and outlines the application process, including the role each governor’s office may take by providing NTIA a list of recommended BTOP projects. Applications are due by August 14, 2009, and award announcements will be made on or about November 7, 2009. The NOFA is available at broadbandusa.