The House Energy & Commerce Committee Thursday night approved the economic recovery package that includes almost $3 billion (2.825) in grants for the rollout of wireless and wired broadband.
The package also includes $650 million in funds for the DTV transition. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) proposed knocking that number down to $250 million, but withdrew the amendment.
The money will go toward ubiquitous broadband and helping unclog the backlog in DTV-to-analog converter box coupons, both are high on the Obama agenda, for reasons of economic stimulus in the first case and in the second case because the DTV transition deadline is only three and a half weeks away, unless Congress winds up pushing it back as the new administration requested.
That broadband grant money will be administered by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, which is the White House's chief telecom policy adviser.