Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Colorado Governor Recovery Logo

Press Release: Recovery Act Broadband Grants

OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
WWW.COLORADO.GOV/GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JULY 16, 2009

CONTACT:
Myung Oak Kim, 303.947.5708, myung.kim@state.co.us

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES RECOVERY ACT BROADBAND GRANTS

Gov. Bill Ritter today outlined the state's priorities for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act applications to expand high-speed Internet access across Colorado. More than $7 billion in competitive grant funding is available to private- and public-sector broadband providers nationally. The first application period opened Tuesday and will close Aug. 14.

State officials will get an opportunity this fall to provide input to the federal government on which broadband applications they support. Gov. Ritter said Colorado will give priority to projects based on their ability to:

  • Provide Internet services to community anchor institutions like schools, libraries, and medical and healthcare providers;
  • Use existing infrastructure;
  • Enhance Internet service to unserved areas;
  • Show long-term sustainability.

 

View the state's Broadband priorities and framework presentation.
Download a more detailed, multi-page description of the state's priorities and framework.

View a detailed map of Broadband information.

"Internet access is vital to help our children learn, enhance healthcare in rural communities, support businesses and build Colorado's New Energy Economy," Gov. Ritter said. "These Recovery Act funds will allow us to strengthen communities, establish a 21st century statewide broadband network, and allow Colorado to become a leader in the digital information economy."

The Governor's Office is scheduled to host a public meeting about the broadband applications from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 17, in the Old Supreme Court Chambers in the Capitol. The meeting will be streamed live on the Internet at www.leg.state.co.us (click on Audio/Visual Broadcasts and then click on Old Supreme Court Chambers).

The Governor's office will use input from the meeting to update maps of broadband access that will be available for view on www.colorado.gov/recovery. More public meetings will be scheduled in the weeks leading up to the Aug. 14 application deadline.

The Recovery Act includes two major competitive grants for broadband projects that can go to public and private entities:

  • The National Telecommunications Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is distributing $4.7 billion through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.
  • The Rural Utility Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is distributing $2.5 billion through the Broadband Initiatives Program to rural communities.

While the state will provide input on projects, the federal agencies will score applications based on a number of criteria and choose grantees. The winning projects are expected to be announced in late 2009.