Applying for Broadband Funds
This past week the White House distributed information concerning theapplication process for the first round of broadband infrastructuredevelopment grants and loans provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
I helped draft this section of the Recovery Act and Iremain committed to the speedy deployment of the next generation ofbroadband services. The use of these funds should spur business growth,infrastructure build-outs, and employment opportunities at a time whenour economy needs a boost in technology sector development.
Although these funds target initial infrastructure projects inrural and underserved communities, there are numerous opportunities forbusiness entities with project ideas. Commercial businesses, localgovernments, and nonprofits may apply for funds under the BroadbandInitiatives Program (BIP) or the Broadband Technology OpportunitiesProgram (BTOP).
States and local government entities, as well as nonprofitorganizations may apply for funds under the State Broadband Data andDevelopment Program. These applicants should propose projects thattarget broadband mapping and planning.
The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications andInformation Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department ofAgriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will oversee theapplication process and coordinate efforts to assist and selectpotential awardees.
The application process is scheduled to begin July 14, 2009 and closeon August 14, 2009. Four billion dollars of the $7.2 billion providedin the law will go toward this first round of applications.
Potential applicants will find information and application procedures online at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.In addition, NTIA and RUS will conduct a regional "applicant workshop"on Friday, July 24, 2009, at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel at 251 S. OliveSt. in Los Angeles. Government officials will provide nine workshops inother regions prior to the first round application deadline.
NTIA and RUS stand ready to assist you through this processand I expect a high level of responsiveness to questions about thegrant and loan processes. Please feel free to contact my office withany concerns you may have about these programs.
Anna G. Eshoo
Member of Congress