Editor's note: This story has been corrected; see below.
NEW ORLEANS, September 30, 2009 – The number two official chief of staff at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Wednesday that there will be changes in the rules governing the broadband stimulus program, and that the government would begin seeking comments on changes in mid-October.
Speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors here, Tom Power, chief of staff at the Commerce Department’s NTIA, also said that there were many advantages of consolidating the final two rounds of the broadband stimulus program into a single, final application period.
“We are considering eliminating the third round, and going to a second round” for all applications, said Tom Power, speaking at the annual conference of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors here. “We haven’t decided that yet,” he added.
“The advantage [of eliminating the final round] is that we might be able to give people a little more time after the NoFA [Notice of Funds Availability] comes out,” he said. “We would love to give more time for folks to prepare applications.”
Besides giving individual applicants more time to prepare their packages for submission to the NTIA and the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service, Power said that eliminating the third round would mean that “we can get the money out the door” sooner.
That, he said, “ties into one of the fundamental points [about the broadband stimulus program]: while this a broadband program, it is also a stimulus program.”
Discussing the current process whereby incumbent telecommunications operators are able to challenge broadband stimulus applicants' proposals for submission on the grounds that broadband is already available in that area, Power said, “this has been mischaracterized in some areas as a veto by the incumbents.”
“It is not a veto,” he said. Such challenges by incumbents mean only that the NTIA and RUS will consider such information in making grant decisions. “At the end of the day, it is our determination” as to whether “the areas are in fact served.”
Also speaking on the panel at NATOA were David Honig, executive director of Minority Media and Telecommunications Council; Casey Lide, an attorney at the Baller Herbst Law Group; and moderator Gerry Lederer, an attorney at Miller & Van Eaton.
Honig defended the broadband stimulus program, even as he urged that Congress devote greater funds to it. “This is a very well-designed program, no matter what anyone else may say.”
At the same time, there will be many applications that are not funded because so many more applications were made than are funds available.
“To arm those of us who are public advocates, when we go back in 2010 to ask for [more stimulus funds], we will be able to say, ‘here is an applicant that should have gotten funded’,” but wasn’t, said Honig.
For further coverage of Power’s comments, check back on Monday for BroadbandCensus.com’s premium content, including the BroadbandCensus.com Weekly Report.
Editor's Note: Although Power is the chief of staff at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the NTIA Organizational Chart lists Anna Gomez, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Communications, as the second-ranked official. We apologize for the error.
BroadbandCensus.com was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on BroadbandCensus.com is produced by Broadband Census News LLC, a subsidiary of Broadband Census LLC that was created in July 2009.
A recent split of operations helps to clarify the mission of BroadbandCensus.com. Broadband Census Data LLC offers commercial broadband verification services to cities, states, carriers and broadband users. Created in July 2009, Broadband Census Data LLC produced a joint application in the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program with Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program. In August 2009, BroadbandCensus.com released a beta map of Columbia, South Carolina, in partnership with Benedict-Allen Community Development Corporation.
Broadband Census News LLC offers daily and weekly reporting, as well as the Broadband Breakfast Club. The Broadband Breakfast Club has been inviting top experts and policy-makers to share breakfast and perspectives on broadband technology and internet policy since October 2008. Both Broadband Census News LLC and Broadband Census Data LLC are subsidiaries of Broadband Census LLC, and are organized in the Commonwealth of Virginia. About BroadbandCensus.com.
- Advocates for Antitrust Enforcement Say Consumer Welfare Standard Only One Layer of Competition Law
- In Law More Than a Year, MOBILE Now Advocates Say Act Requires Further Implementation for 5G Deployment
- Broadband Roundup: Texas Reaches T-Mobile Settlement, Closing the ‘Homework Gap,’ Broadcast Ownership
- UTOPIA Fiber Announces Completion of Latest Round of Funding, a $48 Million Network Expansion
- Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Intellectual Property4 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data5 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Privacy and Security3 months ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Antitrust3 months ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup
Expert Opinion5 months ago
Geoff Mulligan: A ‘Dumb’ Way to Build Smart Cities
Antitrust3 months ago
Broadband Roundup: Everyone (Almost) Gangs Up on Google, Muni Broadband Fact Sheet, SHLB Anchornet Conference
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set
Broadband's Impact4 months ago
Law Enforcement and Advocates of Facial Recognition Technologies Battle Misconceptions