Have you commented yet on the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunity? NO? Go here now and explain what you think Broadband and Underserved means.
Comparison of Application Requirements for the NTIA and RUS Broadband Programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (Economic Stimulus Legislation). NTIA/BTOP funds can be used for unserved and underserved areas. Read PDF for analysis.
The $7.2B included in the bill is comprised of 2 parts: $4.7B in grants for the NTIA's (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (“BTOP”), and the RUS's (Rural Utilities Service) $2.5B for grants, loans and loan guarantees for broadband infrastructure. ... The objectives of the $4.3B in the BTOP is to provide broadband access in “un-served” areas and provide “improved” broadband access in “underserved” areas. The funds are also to be used to provide broadband education, training, access, equipment, and support to schools, libraries, medical, healthcare providers, and other community support entities. An emphasis is also put on organizations that provide outreach, access, equipment, and support services to facilitate greater use of broadband service by low-income, unemployed, aged, and otherwise vulnerable populations. Finally, the funds are to be used to improve access to broadband service by public safety agencies and to stimulate the demand for broadband, economic growth, and job creation............The BTOP funds have a number of eligibility requirements and typically require the applicants to fund 20% of the total cost of the project. Since the intent of the funding is for stimulus, applications must be submitted by September 30th, 2010 and applicants must provide assurance that projects can be completed in 2 years. .... Under the $2.5B in RUS funds, 75% of the area to be served by a project receiving funds from such grants, loans or loan guarantees shall be in a rural area without sufficient access to high speed broadband to facilitate rural economic development..... The RUS funds also specify a number of priorities that will be given to proposals submitted. These include projects that will deliver end-users a choice of more than one service provider, residents that do not currently have access to broadband service and borrowers or former borrowers under Title II of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Priority is also given to applicants that can demonstrate that the project can be started quickly and completed timely based on funding provided. ... The USDA is currently receiving comments up until April 13th and plans to publish the final guidelines within 60 days (June 13th)on its website at www.usda.gov/rus/telecom.
RESPONSE TO NTIA-RUS BROADBAND TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNITIES PROGRAM (BTOP) INITIATIVES: The intent of this summary is to present ideas that will introduce creative solutions to benefit all Americans and Businesses and prevent Federal Government Officials, the FCC and the NTIA/RUS from following the flawed bureaucratic processes of the past and to capture as much “(broadband) bang-for-the- (taxpayer) buck” from BTOP as possible...(read the rest here)
Notes from the first FCC-RUS hearing. The main sticking point: UNserved versus Under-served. Well, not defining Broadband was another issue.
Occam Networks is following these hearings in-depth. You can read about the latest one here, but the archives have info from most of the NTIA / RUS / USDA / FCC Broadband Stimulus hoopla.
Finally, we have Sasha's testimony on the BB Stimulus.
Public meeting video archives. (It helps the insomnia).
Broadband Policy Summit V in Arlington on June 18-19