The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included approximately $482.4 million in grants, with funding for telehealth and video conferencing, in the hopes of helping bridge the technological divide, boost economic growth, create jobs and improve education and healthcare across the U.S.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service, are launching a nearly $7 billion ARRA initiative to expand access to and adoption of broadband services, including telehealth and video conferencing initiatives. NTIA is utilizing approximately $4 billion of that funding for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, which provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, expand public computer centers and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.
The announcement is part of the second round of grant awards, which will be continuing on a rolling basis until the end of September. So far, 216 BTOP grants have been awarded, all designed to bring increased connectivity to communities throughout the country.
One grant recipient, the University of California at Davis, will be using its funding to create an increased telehealth network that will bring top-notch patient care to people throughout the state via video conferencing technology.