AUGUST 13, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- On Tuesday, August 10, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act.into law -- and stripped $302 million from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA's) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to help foot the cost of the jobs assistance program the bill contains.
"The bill saves and creates 319,000 jobs, including 161,000 teacher jobs, closes tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas, and reduces the deficit," according to a statement on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's website.
BTOP was one of several programs that saw approved funding rescinded to help offset the cost of the bill. The Broadband Opportunities Program (BIP) is not affected by the cuts.
Administrators of both programs are racing to finish distributing the $7.2 billion in stimulus money the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earmarked for broadband projects by their September 30, 2010 deadline. BTOP's job just got easier, but undoubtedly not in a way the NTIA would prefer.
The NTIA has yet to comment on how it plans to adjust to its reduced stash of cash.