NTIA/RUS release highly anticipated Notice of Funding Availability for broadband stimulus programs

The ALA today welcomes the release of the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Broadband Opportunities Technology Program (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) and the Broadband Initiative Program (Rural Utilities Service) included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

With community colleges and libraries specifically mentioned in the 121-page document, ALA is optimistic about the opportunities available to America’s libraries through these programs and encourages all members to take advantage of this rare chance to apply for federal funding.

To assist libraries through this process, the ALA Washington Office will offer a host of resources beginning with a webinar tailored to the library community on Wednesday, July 8. (Be on the lookout for future District Dispatch posts to obtain more details.) The webinar will feature ALA consultants Greg Rohde, former NTIA administrator; Chris McLean, former RUS administrator; and John Windhausen, former senior counsel of the Senate Commerce Committee. Additional webinars will be offered in the coming weeks to cover various programs rules.

During Annual, members can learn more about applying for broadband funding by attending the following Washington Office events:

  • Washington Office Update
    8 to 10 a.m., Saturday
    McCormick Place West (MCP), Room W-474

    The update will include an hour-long discussion of the ARRA with an introduction from Bob Bocher, an overview of broadband funding program led by McLean, and a question-and-answer session with Bocher and McLean as well as Alan Inouye, director of the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), and Carrie Lowe, director of OITP’s Program on Networks.

  • Telecommunications: Connecting in the 21st Century and Federal Broadband Stimulus
    10:30 a.m. — noon, Sunday
    McCormick Place West (MCP), Room W-176b

    This program will focus on federal broadband stimulus funding under the ARRA and provide attendees with an opportunity to ask detailed questions. This session will also cover other key issues in telecommunications policy such as net neutrality and developments in the Obama Administration, U.S. Congress, and the Washington policy community.
    Program chair is Bocher with panelists Mary Alice Ball, Inouye and Windhausen.

  • John Windhausen at Membership Booth
    2 to 3 p.m., Sunday
    10:00 to 11 a.m. or 2 to 3 p.m. Monday
    ALA Membership Booth on the Exhibit Floor

    Windhausen and Washington Office staff will be on hand to answer questions about broadband stimulus funding applications.

  • ALA Membership Meeting
    3:30 to 5 p.m., Saturday
    MCP W-375a
    This meeting with include a broadband overview by McLean.
  • ALA Membership Meeting with broadband overview
    11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Monday
    MCP W-375a

    This meeting with include a broadband overview by Windhausen with Lynne Bradley, director of the Office of Government Relations, and Inouye, director of the Office for Information Technology Policy.

The ALA Web site, www.ala.org/knowyourstimulus, will continue to be a composite source all stimulus resources — including the webinars — so be sure to visit it often, as updates are made regularly.

Applications will be available beginning July 7 and electronic applications for broadband funding must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on August 14, 2009, so time is of the essence! Go to the broadband section of knowyourstimulus today to learn more!

About Jenni Terry

Jenni Terry was a press officer with the Washington Office.

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