The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Moira Vahey, Free Press, (202) 265-1490 x31

Free Press Commends NTIA for Overwhelming Interest in Broadband Stimulus Funds


Today, the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture's Rural
Utilities Service (RUS) announced that they received almost 2,200
applications requesting nearly $28 billion in funding for proposed
broadband projects. This is the first of three bidding rounds for the
$7.2 billion in funds the NTIA will distribute.

Ben Scott, policy director at Free Press, issued the following statement:

"We are excited to see such strong interest in the NTIA's broadband
grant program. This response to just the first round of grants
demonstrates the substantial interest in bringing broadband to all
Americans and increasing broadband adoption.

"As expected, the large incumbent telephone and cable companies do
not appear to have applied. But the volume of applicants has
discredited complaints that interest in this grant program would be
hurt by the nature of a public service /private enterprise partnership.

"The NTIA can now settle into the task of dispensing infrastructure
grants to the best applicants with the goal of maximizing the utility
of our public service broadband networks. We congratulate NTIA on this
program and their efforts to improve broadband access."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

(202) 265-1490