Commerce: $1.5 Billion in CARES Act Funding Includes Broadband

The Commerce Department said that the $1.5 billion CARES Act funding to aid communities impacted by COVID-19 is now available, and can be used for broadband deployment among many other things.

The money was allocated to Commerce's Economic Development Administration to use as it saw fit to provide supplemental funds for coronavirus recovery assistance.

Related: FCC Gets $200 Million for Telehealth

“EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance is designed to provide a wide-range of financial assistance to communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of this pandemic,” said Dana Gartzke, currently acting as assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “We intend to deploy our CARES Act funding as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible, and in a manner that meets the needs of our communities.”

Among the uses the money can be put to, said Commerce, is "the deployment of broadband for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills."

That is in addition to the $200 million in CARES Act funds that was earmarked for an FCC COVID-19-related telehealth program.

Among those eligible for the funds are Indian Tribes, state, county and city governments, nonprofits working with those governments, and institutes of higher education. 

For application information, go here.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.