Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Colorado Governor Recovery Logo

Press Release: Broadband Outreach Meetings Announced

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2009

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


GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES OUTREACH MEETINGS FOR RECOVERY ACT BROADBAND GRANTS


Gov. Bill Ritter and his Economic Recovery Team today announced a series of public meetings to assist companies and organizations in applying for more than $7 billion in federal grants to expand high-speed Internet across Colorado.


More than $7 billion in competitive grant funding is available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to private- and public-sector broadband providers nationally. The first application period opened last week and will close Aug. 14.


The Governor's office has scheduled four public meetings to share information and to help groups interested in applying for the grants. The meetings will be held 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). They will take place on:


Thursday, July 23, 9 to 10:30 am

Thursday, July 30, 9 to 10:30 am

Thursday, Aug. 6, 9 to 10:30 am

Thursday, Aug. 13, 9 to 10:30 am


This is the first of up to three rounds of applications for the Recovery Act grants. This fall, state officials will get an opportunity 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.

"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. "We hope that Colorado companies and organizations take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen communities, establish a 21st century statewide broadband network, and help Colorado become a leader in the digital information economy."


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.


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.