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State getting federal broadband funds

JACKSON — Gov. Haley Barbour announced that the federal government has awarded Mississippi nearly $2 million in grants for broadband mapping and planning activities.

Channeled through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the funding will be used to collect and verify the availability, speed and location of broadband across the state. The work will be conducted on a semi-annual basis between 2009 and 2011, providing clear and accessibly formatted data to the public, government and the research community.

The State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program is a matching grant program that implements the joint purposes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA). States are required to contribute at least 20 percent non-federal matching funds toward project costs.

The NTIA is required to produce a comprehensive, interactive and searchable national broadband map available to the public Feb. 17, 2011.

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