Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NTIA-RUS-FCC Meeting Summary

A summary from Steve from the March 10, NTIA/RUS/FCC meeting.

  1. NTIA and RUS will both be announcing Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in three groups. Approximate dates are April-June 2009, Oct-Dec 2009, April-June 2010.
  2. The amount available for grants and loans will be approximately the same in each of the three tranches.
  3. Public comment will be taken by the FCC through March 25 on what the national broadband strategy should be. Refer to GN0929 when making comment.
  4. The public meetings on March 16, 17, 19, 23, 24 will be streamed on the internet.
  5. One can apply for both NTIA and RUS grant simultaneously. One will not be able to bill for the same piece of equipment twice but joint NTIA/RUS funding projects will be permitted.
  6. Aggregated applications with multiple people working together will be encouraged.
  7. Comments on how the FCC should make broadband maps useful are welcome.
  8. The definition of unserved and underserved has not been created yet.
  9. Try to leverage the other broadband based programs in the recovery act. There is smart grid, there is Department of Transportation money going out, if you come forward with a proposal and you don't have to dig the trench twice, that shows efficiency and effectiveness, and so we want to you to think about how to utilize all aspects, the health, IT, there are a number of different programs within the recovery act, and so in your local communities and your states, when you're designing these programs looking for ways to leverage those different aspects will be very helpful.
  10. Satellite to deliver internet in unserved areas will be an attractive application.
  11. Grant loan combos will be an option. A loan from RUS and a grant from NTIA is possible. Proposals that help make the money go further will be attractive.
  12. No preference as to technology however, faster is better.
  13. Propagation studies might give an advantage to an applicant.
  14. NTIA/RUS is looking for comment on whether creating backhaul to remote areas should be part of what is funded.

The NTIA asks input on 15 questions. You can see those questions at the NTIA website or specifically here for PDF.

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