Technology Opportunities


To promote the widespread use and availability of advanced telecommunications and information technologies in the public and nonprofit sectors. The program provides matching grants for model projects that demonstrate innovative uses of network technologies.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 03/15/2006 (The TOP program was discontinued.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants.
Program Accomplishments
In fiscal year 2002, NTIA received 741 applications requesting $353 million, and the program awarded 25 grants totaling $12.4 million.
Department of Commerce and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2002, Public Law 107-77.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
All non-profit entities (including, but not limited to, faith-based organizations, national organizations and associations, non-profit community-based organizations, non-profit health care providers, schools, libraries, museums, colleges, universities, public safety providers) and state, local, and tribal governments are eligible to apply. Although individuals and for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply, they are encouraged to participate as project partners.
Beneficiary Eligibility
General Public.
Applicants must certify that the organization is in compliance or will comply with the Department of Commerce assurances included in the standard application.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Program staff members are available to provide technical and other assistance in preparing application forms. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
The standard application forms as approved by OMB and provided by NTIA must be used for this program, including the Standard Form 424 (Rev 4-92) and the required certifications.
Award Procedure
Applications are reviewed on the basis of funding criteria as established in the Notice of Availability of Funds. The Administrator of NTIA may select an application for funding, in whole or in part, and will notify the applicant of final decisions.
The NTIA Administrator shall select and publish in the Federal Register the date by which new applications must be filed in order to be considered for funding in the referenced fiscal year. For fiscal year 2002, the deadline for filing applications was March 21, 2002.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Awards for the fiscal year will generally be announced within 180 days from the filing of an application.
All awards decisions are final. There is no administrative appeal process.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
In determining whether to approve an application, in whole or in part, and the amount of such grant, the Administrator will consider the project's conformance with the program purposes and funding criteria set forth in the appropriations legislation and the Notice of Availability of Funds.
How may assistance be used?
Through TOP, NTIA provides underserved communities with opportunities to explore the possibilities that emerging digital network technologies offer to solve critical challenges in such areas as lifelong learning, community and economic development, government and public services, safety, health, culture, and the arts. TOP projects demonstrate creative uses of digital network technologies to address pressing needs in the public and non-profit sectors. Therefore, TOP expects each applicant to present a clear vision and a workable plan to apply digital network technologies to address specific challenges in their communities. Rather than simply requesting funds to build capacity or upgrade existing equipment, each application should describe a project that pinpoints specific problems, proposes creative solutions, and postulates measureable outcomes.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Financial and progress reports are to be submitted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award, and are due on quarterly basis.
Audits will be conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the award and OMB Circular No. A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal Awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for the year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or subrecipients must be maintained in accordance with the terms of the award. Generally, the recipient must retain records for three years from the date on which the final expenditure report is submitted.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
47 U.S.C. 392 (b) and (c). The Administrator will provide up to 50 percent of the total project costs, unless extraordinary circumstances warrant a grant of up to 75 percent. A project will not be considered grantable unless the applicant can document a capacity both to supply matching funds, and to sustain the project beyond the period of the award.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Successful applicants will have between one and three years to complete the project as specified in the award document. The actual time will vary depending on the complexity of any particular project. Extensions may be requested in writing if circumstances require additional time, and extensions must be approved by the Grants Officer. Financial assistance is generally released as required during the award period.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
Mr. Stephen Downs, Director, Technology Opportunities Program, Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications/NTIA, Room 4092, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230. Telephone: (202) 482-2048.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Grants) FY 02 $12,414,042; FY 03 est $0; and FY 04 est $0.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$241,185 to $705,000. Average: $496,562.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Written requests to the Director, Technology Opportunities Program, will obtain application package containing the Notice of Availability of Funds, application forms and guidelines. Cost will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular Nos. A-21 for institutions of higher education, A-87 for State, Local, and Indian Tribal Governments, and with A-122 for nonprofit organizations. Grants management will be in accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-110 for institutions of higher educations, other nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations; and 15 CFR Part 24 for State and local governments.
Examples of Funded Projects
1) The University of California-Los Angeles, Neighborhood Knowledge California Telecommunication Project is assembling a wide variety of public and private databases to expand opportunities for home ownership through fair housing and lending research, education, and policy development; 2) the City of Chicago, Illinois, Greenhouse Project is developing a model for reducing radio frequency congestion and increasing interoperability among urban public safety responders by using broadband wireless technology; and 3)Ekklesia Development Corp, Cincinnati, Project GILEAD is developing the nation's first online service linking faith-based human service providers and their clientele in Cincinnati, Ohio.