The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today announced that it has awarded the first four ARRA grants under NTIA's State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program to fund activities in California, Indiana, North Carolina and Vermont. The program will increase broadband access and adoption through better data collection and broadband planning. The data will be displayed in NTIA's national broadband map, a tool that will inform policymakers' efforts and provide consumers with improved information on the broadband Internet services available to them.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is awarded approximately $1.8 million, plus $500,000 for the cost of broadband planning activities in California over four years; the Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) is awarded approximately $1.3 million; the Rural Economic Development Center Inc. (e-NC Authority) is awarded approximately $1.6 million, plus approximately $435,000 for the cost of broadband planning activities in North Carolina over five years; and the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) is awarded approximately $1.2 million to collect and verify the availability, speed and location of broadband across the state. This activity is to be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2009 and 2011, with initial data coming available in November 2009 to inform broadband policy efforts. Awardees are to present the data in a clear and accessible format to the public, government, and the research community.