NTIA Expands Mapping, Opens Up Funds For Other Uses

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The National Telecommunications & Information Administration will give states and other local broadband data grant awardees another three years to work on broadband mapping, and open up that funding to other deployment purposes.
NTIA said Friday that it would give applicants until July 1 to amend their filings to ask for more money for mapping. The recovery act set aside $350 million for mapping, and a deadline of Feb. 17, 2011, to get a national broadband availability map online. That deadline still holds, but the group has only handed out something over $100 milllion. The map will be updated by NTIA every six months, and rather than the original two-year period for funding such efforts, which NTIA chalked up to "fiscal prudence," it has decided that there is enough money to extend that effort to five years.
NTIA also said it would allow the money also to be used for other things broadband, including local or regional technology planning and programs, to promote computer ownership and Internet use.
"Now that NTIA has seen initial state data collection efforts, we are prepared to accept and evaluate proposals for additional funding," said NTIA chief Larry Strickling.