"This allows us to get the most bang for every grant dollar and award projects that will address communities’ broadband problems while creating jobs and facilitating sustainable economic growth.”
Ten projects worth about $360 million will go toward providing middle-mile networks; Connecticut, Colorado, Arizona and Illinois received the bulk of the funding. Another $60 million will be used on to create or expand public computing centers at colleges, schools and libraries including Auburn University in Auburn, Ala. The other $60 million in grants will go to broadband programs focused on health services and underserved communities.
“In a globalized 21st century economy, when you don’t have regular access to high-speed Internet, you don’t have access to all the educational, business and employment opportunities it provides,” Locke said. “These critical Recovery Act investments will create jobs and lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable economic growth in communities across America.”
The Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition received an $11.8 million grant and an additional $5.6 million in matching contributions to conduct strategic outreach, access and training programs for Philadelphia residents with no or limited Internet access at home, with a focus on the most economically and socially vulnerable populations. The Mexican Institute of Greater Houston received a $2 million grant for similar outreach programs.