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Alabama, Arizona and Missouri Governments Offer Picks for Broadband Dollars

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October 16, 2009 – The states of Alabama, Arizona and Missouri released their lists of recommendations for broadband stimulus grants to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Friday, October 16.

In Alabama, a five-page recommendation came from the Alabama Broadband Initiative, which urged that the federal government fund 41 projects. In their letter, the commission said that its recommendation meant that its review committee deemed that “ (1) the project will meet a broadband infrastructure need within the State; (2) the project will increase the use of broadband technology within the State to better serve our citizenry; and/or (3) the project will provide public access to computers within underserved areas of the State.” The initiative also said that “infrastructure projects within the State are our number one priority.”

In Arizona, the three-page recommendation came from the State of Arizona Government Information Technology Agency, and it recommended 21 projects. Without any commentary, the recommendation rated projects within the middle mile, last mile, public computing centers and sustainable adoption categories as either “exceptional,” “outstanding,” or “deserving of funding consideration.”

In Missouri, a 10-page letter from Gov. Jeremiah W. Nixon articulated a detailed framework for bringing more comprehensive broadband to the state. The state put forward 16 projects in its recommendations.

In the portions of this story included below as premium content, BroadbandCensus.com provides links to uploaded copies of the letters of the Alabama Broadband Initiative, Gov. Jeremiah W. Nixon of Missouri, and of the State of Arizona Government Information Technology Agency, to the NTIA. The Missouri letter is also available on the MoBroadbandNow wiki.

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Alabama

The letter to NTIA from the Alabama Broadband Initiative: btop-recommendations-from-state-of-alabama

Arizona

The letter to NTIA from the Arizona Government Information Agency: arizona

Missouri

The letter to NTIA from Gov. Jeremiah W. Nixon of Missouri: missouri_recommendations_btop_round_1

“The recommendations we offer today in the Middle Mile and Last Mile categories are the result of a unique public-private partnership process,” said Gov. Nixon in his letter. “The most significant hurdle to a truly transformational – not merely incremental – expansion of broadband access throughout rural Missouri is the absence of a state-of-the-art, and truly ‘open access,’ Middle Mile infrastructure.”

“The ‘open access’ infrastructure Last Mile providers need – but lack in much of rural Missouri today – means [of] predictable, dependable access” to broadband, he continued.

Together with Sho-Me Technologies, LLC, the state of Missouri has forged a partnership to provide such “open access” infrastructure, including the deployment of 2,500 miles of new fiber-optic backbone, 200 new towers, and the creation of a fully “open access” infrastructure at the wholesale and retail levels.

Among the benefits of the partnership with Sho-Me Technologies, the state continued:

  • Access to approximately 300 rural communities along the fiber path, as well as reach into additional tower locations in areas surrounding the communities.
  • Adds 50+ rural county seats to a fiber-connected network.
  • Open access fiber and towers.
  • Highly reliable designs (network rings)
  • Drop-off points for additional towns and towers along or near the fiber path.
  • High capacity fiber and bandwidth supply options for Last Mile providers (critical for both wired and wireless providers as bandwidth to the end-user increases).
  • Puts fiber into areas where no fiber exists or fiber access is limited and not open-access.
  • Smartgrid enabler for Missouri rural electric cooperatives.
  • Provides the key portions of a statewide “open access” infrastructure that will enable low-cost access throughout rural Missouri for libraries and similar public service institutions; K-12 school districts and higher education institutions; healthcare providers and patients seeking remote healthcare services; public safety and intelligent transportation benefits.
  • Based on expected use over the next seven to ten years, the reduced costs to the State for the public service benefits made available through this proposal will produce savings equal to between 200 percent and 300 percent of the State’s initial matching funds investment.

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Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. His telecommunications-focused law firm, Drew Clark PLLC, works with cities, rural communities and state economic development entities to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

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