WASHINGTON, May 21, 2009 - The White House quietly announced the schedule for the broadband grants issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration under the economic stimulus package signed into law in February.
The filing confirmed the NTIA’s commitment to release the “Notice of Funds Availability,” together with final rules for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grants, by June 30, 2009.
The list of dates and grant criteria was posted to the Recovery.gov website.
With the “initial proposal processing and review” scheduled to run from September to December, applicants will have a very short window for seeking BTOP grants.
The announcement committed the agency to its first award of grants by December.
A second round of applications will be accepted between October and December of this year, with the third and final round due between April and June of 2010. All stimulus grants will be distributed by the end of September 2010.
The scope of eligible programs includes "construction of wireline and wireless broadband networks in areas of the country with limited or no broadband access," the announcement said.
Additionally, the announcement fleshed out a series of quantifiable “measures” by which the effectiveness of the program could be measures.
Those measures include:
- Job creation
- Number of areas where service will be available or improved, including the homes or businesses passed
- How projects stimulate private investment
- Whether projects provide service to "strategic institutions"
- Encouraging broadband demand
The Recovery.gov website aims to continuously publish information on grantees, including their identity, location, and the amount of funds awarded. More data will be made available on the NTIA's BTOP web site.
From the Recovery.org Web site
Schedule and Milestones
Procurement for Grants Program Assistance Services March – June 2009
Award Contract for Grants Program Support June 2009
Preparation for Initial Solicitation for Proposals April – June 2009
Publish Notice of Funds Availability June 2009*
Initial Proposal Processing and Review Sept – Dec. 2009
Initial Grant Awards Made December 2009
Second Solicitation for Proposals Oct – Dec 2009
Third Solicitation for Proposals April – June 2010
All Awards to Be Made September 2010
Milestone | Completion Date
Award Contract for Grants Program Support | 06/30/2009
Initial Grant Awards Made | 12/31/2009
All Awards to Be Made | 09/30/2010