The National Telecommunications and Information Administration received 867 applications for the second round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The final figure for applications totals around $11 billion for broadband projects. The NTIA allocated around $2.6 billion for the projects.There’s about $4.5 billion dollars in non-federal matching funds submitted by the applicants, improving the amount to over $15.5 billion.
The review process will start now and the grants will be award this summer. The applicants chose between three categories, Comprehensive Community Infrastructure, Sustainable Broadband Adoption and Public Computer Centers. CCI saw 355 applications. SBA received 251 applications and PCC had 261 applicants.
The Recovery Act offers $7.2 billion to expand and adopt broadband services. $4.7 billion will be used to install broadband infrastructure. Applicants ranged from state, local and tribal governments, non-profit organizations, industrialists, education providers, hospitals, public safety organizations, libraries and other community groups.
‘We are pleased that a high percentage of applicants appear to have met our priorities and we look forward to reviewing this more targeted pool of applications,’ said Lawrence E Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator of NTIA.
CCI will focus on middle mile broadband infrastructure that connects municipalities institutions like schools and libraries. This round, NTIA plans on dolling out $2.35 billion for these projects. The SBA requested about $1.7 billion in financing for broadband education, equipment for groups in under served areas. The PPC category will expand broadband capacity for public libraries, community colleges and other public institutions. The NTIA has budgeted $150 million for this section of funding.
Eight applications feature WiMAX. There’s a $25 million dollar bid for Houston to expand its hard line connection, WiMAX and 700MHz public safety network. Towerstream asked for $20 million for two proposals of funding, by building WiMAX networks in the under served neighborhoods of Boston and Detroit.
This government action will improve broadband, providing broadband connectivity to under served areas in the U.S. The first round was mostly for fibre connections. They really haven’t thought of WiMAX as a suitable deployment, only choosing a few WiMAX projects to finance during the first round of funding. We’ll see which projects the government chooses. WiMAX could help with last mile connectivity, providing broadband where land line can’t go. It’s important to get broadband after the F.C.C.’s announced initiative to make broadband internet the standard for connection.
Photo Courtesy of Grant MacDonald … Read the rest