The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is an agency of the United States Department of Commerce that serves as the President's principal adviser on telecommunications policies pertaining to the United States' economic and technological advancement and to regulation of the telecommunications industry.
In February 2009, the United States Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which paved the way for a $7.2 billion grant given to the NTIA and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service to bolster broadband access across the United States. $4.7 billion of the grant was allocated to provide for the implementation of broadband infrastructure, develop and amplify public computer centers, encourage reasonable adoption of broadband service, and create and sustain a nationwide map of broadband proficiency and availability.
This project, known as the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program is being administered by the NTIA in three levels. The secondary purpose of this project is to reduce the digital gap between the various generation demographics.
Comprehensive Community Infrastructure is the first of three projects in the BTOP. It aims to develop and unfold new or improved broadband internet facilities as well as to network with schools, libraries, hospitals, public safety facilities and other community anchor institutions.
The BTOP will also focus on Public Computer centers and will create new public computer facilities or enhance existing facilities that already offer broadband services to the general public or specific vulnerable populations.
The third project that the BTOP plans to address is Sustainable Broadband Adoption. This project will center in on increasing broadband internet usage, specifically in areas where broadband technology has been unavailable or underutilized. This includes digital literacy training and outreach campaigns to educate the general public on the importance and relevance of broadband in everyday life.
In 2009, the NTIA also launched the State Broadband Data and Development Program to carry out the missions of both the Recovery Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act to establish an encompassing project that sustains the integration of broadband technology into the economy.
Since the program commenced, NTIA allocated $293 million to 56 grantees, which include one from each state, five territories and the District of Columbia. Grantees are responsible for funding the creation, expansion and maintenance, as well as supporting and encouraging the use of, broadband technology. These efforts are made to aid small businesses and community institutions in the efficient and effective use of technology as well as to conduct research as to the boundaries in broadband expansion and innovation of broadband technology in the future.