From BroadbandCensus.com Weekly Report
WASHINGTON, August 31, 2009 – Although the NTIA and RUS are expected to release the names of the applicants for broadband stimulus funding later this week, the names of many of the applicants are emerging through press releases and through reporting by a wide variety of organizations.
States playing active roles in the federal broadband stimulus are emerging as key aggregators of grant applications, including Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and New Mexico. Each of these states is responsible for bundling more than $100 million in applicants by governmental, private or quasi-public entities within their jurisdictions.
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[private_Premium Content][private_Free Trial]Among the major private sector players eying federal stimulus funds include KeyOn, a wireless broadband providers in Omaha, Neb., going for more $150 mil¬lion in funding to expand its WiMax network http://gigaom.com/2009/08/19/wireless-cos-ask-for-169-6m-in-stimulus-bucks-wheres-wire¬line/; Leap Wireless, which operates the Cricket brand of cell phone service, which is seeking $8.6 million; Yonder Media, with a rural WiMax plan, and possibly also Level 3. http://telephonyonline.com/independent/news/level3-broad¬band-stimulus-funding-0817/ SkyTerra’s application for funds is under the Sustainable Adoption Program, and it includes a letter of support from Motorola. http://www.skyterra.com/me¬dia/press-releases-view.cfm?id=216&yr=2009
Illinois is shepherding one of the most substantial group of applicant packages through the process. As with other states, it is pledging large sums of money to meet the 20 percent matching funds requirement called for the regulations implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Last week, the administration of Gov. Pat Quinn announced funding commitments of $40 million, supporting federal applications more than 10 times that large, or for $415 million. The complete list is avail¬able at http://broadband.illinois.gov/page/State-Funding-Commitment-List.aspx .
The City of Chicago, for example, is seeking $100 million to create a “smart Chicago;” Illinois’s matching commit¬ment is $10 million, and the project boasts an additional match of $14.8 million. Among the other substantial applications within Illinois are the City of Rockford, for $63 million (matched by $5 million from the state); Clearwave Communications, a company in Southern Illinois, for $50 million (with a $5 million state match); Cook and Will Counties, which are seeking $51 million; and the University of Illinois Campus Information Technologies and Information Services, which is seeking $28 million (with a $3.5 million state match).
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson – President Obama’s first pick to be Secretary of Commerce, but who with¬drew his name – announced that his state’s Office of Recovery and Reinvestment coordinated an effort to obtain $180 million in broadband funds. “A faster, expanded broadband network that reaches across our state is vital to our future, which is why I made securing funds for broadband improvements in New Mexico a top priority for our stimulus team,” Richardson said. http://www.governor.state.nm.us/press/2009/august/082109_01.pdf Among the applicants are the New Mexico Department of Information Technology, Baca Valley Telephone, Eastern New Mexico Rural Telephone Cooperative, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and Commnet, Sa¬cred Wind, US Cable and Western Telephone.
Pennsylvania’s $108 million bid includes $50 million toward a state Department of Education connectivity plan; $29 million by the state’s Office of Administra¬tion toward an underserved area in northern Pennsyl¬vania, $13 million for broadband trading the Education Department, and $8 million toward the Department of Community and Economic Development to “help com¬munities, businesses, first-responders and institutions effectively use broadband.” http:// www.recovery.pa.gov
Maryland state officials, working with several municipalities, seeks to finalize a $100 million joint application, One Maryland, to expand existing fiber to schools, libraries and other public buildings. The coalition includes the counties of Baltimore, Anne Arun¬del, Harford, Carroll, Prince George’s, Montgomery and Frederick – plus Baltimore City and Annapolis. http://www.govtech.com/gt/articles/712483
And in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Broadband Institute applied for $105 million in federal funding: $100 million to support an infrastructure development in western Massachusetts, coupled with $20 million in state money; plus $5 million to support its broadband mapping initiative. OpenCape on Cape Cod is seek¬ing $40 million in federal funds, and the City of Boston seeks $15 million. [/private_Premium Content][/private_Free Trial]