President Obama will announce Friday the investment in sixty-six new Recovery Act broadband projects nationwide, totaling $795 million in grants and loans and being matched by $200 million in outside investment. Nine hundred healthcare facilities in rural or previously under reached areas, as well as over 685,000 businesses, and 2,400 schools will benefit from the investments.
The grants and loans are part of an overall $7.2 billion investment the Recovery Act makes in expanding broadband access nationwide – $4.7 billion through the Commerce Department and $2.5 billion funded through the Department of Agriculture.
There are two types of awards being announced:
- Infrastructure – Middle mile awards build and improve middle mile connections to communities lacking sufficient broadband access and last mile awards connect end users like homes, hospitals and schools to their community’s broadband infrastructure (the middle mile).
- Public Computing Centers - Expand computer center capacity for public use in libraries, community colleges and other public venues.