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American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

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Citation Edit

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 115, 516 (Feb. 19, 2009).



National Broadband Plan Edit

The Act provided $7.2 billion primarily for broadband grant programs to be administered by two separate agencies: the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce (DOC) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Of the $7.2 billion total, the ARRA provided $4.7 billion to establish a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) at NTIA, and $2.5 billion for broadband grant, loan, and loan/grant combination programs at RUS. In comparison with previously existing federal broadband programs in the United States, the broadband grant and loan programs established and funded by the Act are unprecedented in scale and scope.

The impetus behind broadband provisions in the Act was two-fold: in the short term, to create jobs through the construction and deployment of broadband infrastructure, and in the long term, to address concerns over economic and societal impacts of inadequate broadband availability, access, and adoption, particularly in rural and lower-income areas of the nation. The unprecedented scale and scope of the ARRA broadband programs, coupled with the short time frame for awarding grants, presents daunting challenges with respect to program implementation as well as Congressional oversight.

The Act also requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to deliver to Congress a "National Broadband Plan" that included a centralized vision for achieving affordability and maximizing use of broadband to advance community development, health care delivery, education, job creation, and other national purposes.

The primary objective of the plan is "to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability. . . ." Specifically, the statute provides:

The national broadband plan required by this section shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal. The plan shall also include:

The National Broadband Plan was delivered to Congress in late February 2010 — Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan (2010).

NITRD Research Edit

Under the Act, five federal agencies report preliminary allocations of $706 million to investments in NITRD research areas (these figures may change). The NITRD agencies will use their ARRA funds to modernize, expand, and upgrade networking and high-end computing infrastructures and facilities for advanced scientific research; expand R&D in cybersecurity, human-computer interaction and information management, high-confidence software and systems, and software design; and increase investments in education and training for a diverse, highly skilled IT workforce.[2]

References Edit

  1. Pub. L. No. 111-5, Div. B, Tit. VI, §6001(k).
  2. Supplement to the President’s Budget, The Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program.[1]

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