The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently completed all of its Recovery funded projects, comprising a total 160 Recovery awards and approximately $90 million.
FCC Recovery activities were focused on three overall programs: the national conversion to digital television, the development of the National Broadband Plan, and the making of the National Broadband Map. On all three programs the FCC either collaborated or coordinated with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Digital Television Conversion
The FCC helped prepare the public for the end of analog broadcasting and the transition to all-digital broadcasting, which occurred in June 2009. The FCC concentrated on outreach/assistance efforts leading up to and after the transition. More than $60 million of Recovery contracts were awarded and paid out to 90 vendors.
National Broadband Plan
In partnership with NTIA, the FCC awarded and paid out $13 million in Recovery funds to about 40 vendors to help develop a national plan for expanding broadband to areas currently not served or underserved with high-speed access. The Recovery Act mandated the creation of the plan as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program created by the stimulus initiative. The plan was released in March 2010.
National Broadband Map
The FCC and NTIA teamed with all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia to build a searchable and interactive map allowing users to view the extent of broadband availability across every neighborhood in the United States. Slightly less than $15 million in Recovery money paid for development of the map, which was published on the NTIA website in February 2011. It is updated every six months.
The FCC is the second federal agency to complete its Recovery awards; the Smithsonian Institution completed its awards in June 2011.
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