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Governors of Illinois and Kansas Winnow State Broadband Stimulus Applications

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October 20, 2009 – The states of Illinois and Kansas on Tuesday released their recommendations for the first round of broadband stimulus funding, with Illinois winnowing 140 applicants for broadband projects to a list of 31 proposed projects, and Kansas narrowing its pool of 85 applicants to 22.

Merely because a project is on the list of recommendations from a state does not guarantee acceptance by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service – nor does it mean that the federal government must select from among candidates on the state-approved list.

In his October 14 letter to Lawrence Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Gov. Pat Quinn said that from the time that he was chairman of the Illinois Broadband Deployment Council, “one of my long-standing priorities is to improve the cost, speed and availability of world-class information and communication networks in rural, low-income and disadvantaged communities.”

“I firmly believe that broadband progress made possible by the BTOP will hasten innovation in education, government, public safety, health care, economic and community development in Illinois,” said Quinn. “Seldom does one program offer such promise.”

In Kansas, the dollar sum of the 22 projects recommended by Gov. Mark Parkinson totaled $283 million, with the most expensive recommended project being that of Pixius Communications, requesting grant funding to construct a wireless middle mile network, for $55 million. The lowest-cost recommended grant belonged to the Miami County Medical Center, for $141,000, to upgrade T-1 lines replace digital subscriber lines for connectivity with eight rural clinics and one outpatient rehabilitation facility serving rural populations

In the portions of this story included below as premium content, BroadbandCensus.com provides links to uploaded copies of the October 14 letters of Govs. Quinn of Illinois and Mark Parkinson of Kansas, along with further information about the projects hotlined by the governors for approval by NTIA and RUS. The Illinois letter is also available on Broadband.illinois.gov.

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[private_Premium Content][private_Free Trial]In Illinois, Quinn said that the state has made a $50 million state investment in broadband projects and has “partnered with public universities to provide grant writing assistance to groups seeking to serve Illinois, and finally, in the interest of smart planning, we called on our state transportation and [information technology] departments to install fiber optic duct (where it does not already exist) in all new public construction projects that open, bore, or trench alongside State-owned infrastructure.”

In Kansas, Gov. Parkinson said that the state established its own scoring criteria in which “a high level of emphasis was placed on the state’s priority areas (telemedicine, distance learning, economic development, e-government), as well as the needs of unserved and rural Kansans.”

Of the 85 applicants with projects in Kansas, 62 submitted self-scoring information.

Gov. Parkinson also highlighted the fact that the state “did not attempt to validate applicants’ claims of meeting the needs of unserved populations” because “providers and other applicants will have a period to voice such concerns through the federal process.”

Kansas

The October 14 letter to the NTIA by Gov. Mark Parkinson (PDF): ntia-letter-10-13-09

The October 14 PDF of Kansas’ prioritized projects: kansas-btop-recommended-projects

Below is a list of the 22 project recommended in Kansas, listed from the most costly to the least costly.

Applicant | Project title | Project type | Grant request | Description

  • Pixius Communications, LLC | Fixed Wireless Infrastructure Proposal for Kansas and portions of IA, MO, NE and OK | Middle Mile | $55,323,931 | Pixius Communications, LLC is requesting grant funding to construct a wireless middle mile network that will support (1) the expansion of Pixius’s wireless broadband service in rural unserved and underserved areas and (2) provision of new wireless services by other carriers. The project covers 98 counties in Kansas and certain surrounding counties in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
  • Logiclink Inc. | Economically Sustainable Business Anywhere® Center for Broadband Adoption and Household Subscription | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $41,519,307 | 1,731 self-serve centers providing free broadband access shall be implemented at public safety agencies, community anchor organizations and small businesses in all unserved and underserved rural counties. A membership program offering broadband based services such as training, health care, community development and business opportunities shall stimulate adoption and sustain household subscription.
  • Allegiance Communications | Allegiance Fiber To The Home | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $31,436,003 | Fiber to the home deployment across Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and Arkansas
  • EchoStar XI Operating L.L.C. | Customer Premises Equipment Coupon Program | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $28,350,000 | The Customer Premises Equipment (“CPE”) Coupon Program will encourage wider adoption of broadband service by providing consumers with the training and equipment they will need to become successful broadband users. The program will also promote the availability of broadband service to increase awareness.
  • Connected Nation | EVERY CITIZEN ONLINE | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $24,000,000 | Every Citizen Online is a public-private partnership program to enable computer ownership and broadband use in low-income homes. The program will help vulnerable populations overcome barriers to adoption. Joining together technology companies and local entities, the program will provide digital literacy and help unconnected consumers purchase a broadband-enabled computer using an instant rebate.
  • The World Company d/b/a Sunflower Broadband | Fiber to the Prairie | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $18,008,144 | The project is a fiber-to-the-home Last Mile construction design for broadband services to rural underserved areas concentrated in the Kansas counties of Douglas and Leavenworth. The project includes a 146 Middle Mile component designed to provide higher performance broadband to underserved areas and community anchors.
  • Federation of American Scientists | Innovation in Education and Workforce Training; Critical Uses of a New Virtual World Framework | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $14,809,084 | This project unites innovators in broadband education and training in creating a national software infrastructure that will dramatically transform the way education and training is created, maintained and delivered. Exemplar content (science and math games, green jobs and emergency response training) will prepare users for new jobs and drive broadband demand.
  • Nex-Tech Wireless, LLC | Far East Kansas Build (2) | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $12,854,711 | This project aims to provide 3G wireless broadband coverage in underserved areas in far eastern Kansas. The majority of these areas are rural with less than 40 percent broadband penetration. The applicant is already an established wireless operator in Kansas and will leverage its experience building and maintaining a wireless network to successfully complete this project.
  • Xanadoo Broadband, LLC | Xanadoo – WiMAX service in Kansas | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $10,018,196 | Xanadoo Broadband, LLC (the Applicant) and its affiliate Xanadoo, LLC (together “Xanadoo”) will build and operate a mobile terrestrial wireless network using WiMAX technology to deliver internet access speeds of at least 3-5 Mbs. The service area will cover 52 communities and over 300,000 people in eastern Kansas.
  • Kansas Broadband Internet, Inc. | Eastern Kansas WiMax Project | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $9,086,387 | This “shovel ready”project is a cost effective wireless network using 4G WiMax technology to deliver high speed internet to rural areas. Key features of this network design are being able to rapidly deploy robust service offerings into new areas at a fraction of the cost of wire line networks and meeting the higher service level demands of today’s educational, entertainment and business needs.
  • American Fiber Systems, Inc. | BTOP: Expanding & Enabling Broadband Technology & Competition in the Kansas City, MO and KS area | Middle Mile | $6,129,946 | This shovel ready Mid Mile project will provide underserved areas, anchor institutions, children, health care, education & businesses with cost effective scalable access to a state of the art high capacity fiber network designed to provide broadband services & enable multiple Last Mile Providers. Since 2000 AFS has deployed & currently operates 9 open access networks of similar or greater scale.
  • Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation | Connect Kansas – Sustainable Broadband Adoption Initiative | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $5,962,912 | Kansas Farm Bureau and Connected Nation propose a statewide broadband adoption initiative in accordance with the requirements of the BTOP’s sustainable broadband adoption category. The non-profit organizations are laying the foundation for unprecedented progress in digital literacy and use – the benefits of which will open a world of educational, economic, and social opportunities for Kansans.
  • Nex-Tech Wireless, LLC | East Kansas Build (1) | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $5,553,317 | This project aims to expand 3G EV-DO Rev A wireless broadband coverage to underserved areas in east Kansas. These areas are primarily rural with less than 40 percent broadband penetration. The applicant is already an established wireless operator in Kansas and will leverage its existing spectrum and experience building and maintaining a wireless network to successfully complete this project.
  • Foundation Telecommunications Inc | FTI High Speed Satellite Internet Package for Rural & RemoteSmall Communities | Last Mile Remote Area | $5,246,703 | The Foundation Telecommunications, Inc. (“FTI”) proposes our Two-Way Commercial Satellite Internet Service to address 115 small rural communities across 10 states that are located so far from conventional terrestrial resources that DSL or other means will not likely be offered within the foreseeable future and is economically unjustifiable at this time.
  • Lawrence Freenet, Inc. | Freenet Underserved & Rural Broadband Initiative | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $4,160,962 | Lawrence Freenet, Inc. broadband initiative to expand infrastructure, enabling access to broadband services for the unserved rural residents of Douglas County and provide broadband access to the underserved throughout Douglas County.
  • Kansas Board of Regents, Kan-ed | Kan-ed: Scaling Up Video Teleconferencing Services to Enhance Public Access in Kansas Libraries | Public Computer Center | $3,924,893 | Kan-ed will scale up high definition videoconferencing facilities in 90 public libraries in Kansas. Federal funding is requested to procure, install, and use HD videoconferencing equipment within the LAN at each premise. When complete, all 105 counties in Kansas will benefit from expanded access to economic development resources, distance education programs, telehealth and e-government services.
  • Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation | Connect Kansas – Sedan Broadband Communications Center | Public Computer Center | $2,057,546 | The Sedan Broadband Communication Center will give rural citizens access to technology and information that will allow them to solve individual and community problems. The SBCC will encompass all aspects of rural life, from education to health care to economic development. The SBCC will revitalize rural communities by forging new opportunities focused on technology, not size or location.
  • Broadband Alliance | Bi-lingual Broadband Education | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $1,940,000 | In support of Broadband USA, we will be developing bi-ligual education programs to identify and assist rural and disadvantaged subscribers. To optimize learning we will use a variety of mediums to educate; including virtual coloring books and self paced on-line learning. As an additional feature we will be providing a wizard to help subscribers select the best service for their budget.
  • Home Communications, Inc. | Fiber To The Home in Rural Kansas | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $1,002,438 | Home Communications, Inc. (“Home Communications”) proposes to bring broadband using fiber to the home (“FTTH”) technology to rural areas surrounding Canton, Kansas.
  • Level 3 EON, LLC | Expanding broadband access across Kansas | Middle Mile | $998,852 | Level 3 EON proposes a middle-mile project to leverage its national fiber optic network by opening new access points offering underserved areas a new on-ramp to high-speed services. By investing in additional fiber optic transmission equipment and supporting network elements last mile providers and their subscribers will gain access to the national Internet backbone at lower costs.
  • Cellular Network Partnerships | Barber County Mobile Broadband | Last Mile Non-Remote Area | $559,405 | Cellular Network Partners proposes to provide wireless broadband services in southwest Kansas. The $1,130,112 wireless project provides data and voice services to unserved and underserved areas. The shovel ready project will add 2 new construction jobs and 1 sustained jobs.
  • Miami County Medical Center | Broadband and Enhanced Medical Care (Equipment for Network only) | Sustainable Broadband Adoption | $141,116 | This preoject seeks toimprove the speed and efficiency of connectivity through the application and upgrading of T-1 lines between Olathe Medical Center and Miami County Medical Center and replace DSL lines for connectivity with 8 rural cllinics and 1 outpatient rehab facility serving the rural populations of Linn, Franklin and Miami County (Kansas)

Illinois

The October 14 letter to the NTIA by Gov. Pat Quinn (PDF): btop_prioritization

Below is a list of the 31 projects recommended by the state of Illinois:

18 highly recommended Infrastructure projects (alphabetical order):

  • 4SIWI LLC | 4SIWI 5 County Expansion proposal
  • Aurora, Illinois | Aurora Municipal Broadband for Education, Economic Development, Healthcare and the Digital Divide
  • Blackhawk Hills Resource Conservation & Development | Blackhawk Hills Fiber Optic System
  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois | Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband – Below Ground (UC2B Middle Mile & Last Mile Infrastructure)
  • Carl Sandburg College | EduNet Wireless Wide Area Network Expansion
  • Central Management Services | Illinois Century Network BIG: Bringing Illinois Gigaspeeds
  • City of Highland | FTTx Broadband Service to Underserved of Rural Highland, IL
  • City of Rockford | Greater Rockford Area Fiber Optic System
  • DeKalb County Government | DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority Broadband
  • Delta Communications, LLC dba Clearwave Communications | Southern Illinois Middle Mile
  • Gargoyle Technologies, Inc. dba Volo Broadband | Champaign County Broadband Backbone
  • Gargoyle Technologies, Inc. dba Volo Broadband | Champaign County Volo
  • Geneseo Communications, Inc. | Rural Illinois Community Connect
  • Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative | West Central Illinois Broadband
  • Norlight Telecommunications, Inc. | Rural High-Speed Ethernet Network – Southern Illinois
  • SmartChicago Broadband Infrastructure | SmartChicago Broadband Infrastructure
  • South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association | SSMMA Regional Broadband Connectivity Project
  • Tel-Star Cablevision Inc. | QCRB (Quad County Rural Broadband)

9 highly recommended Public Computer Center projects (alphabetical order):

  • B&J Computers Inc. | B&J Training Center
  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois | Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband Above Ground
  • Center of Higher Development | Connecting, Widening, and Strengthening Communities
  • Housing Authority of the City of Rock Island | One Stop Technology Centers
  • Illinois Rural Electric Cooperative | West Central Illinois Computer Centers
  • Lawndale Business and Local Development Corp. | Lawndale Network Training Centers
  • Lumity | Lumity Community Centers Of Excellence Program
  • SmartChicago Public Computer Centers | SmartChicago Public Computer Centers
  • Zion-Benton Public Library District | Steps to Success

4 highly recommended Sustainable Broadband Adoption projects (alphabetical order):

  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois | Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband Above Ground SBA
  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute | Broadband at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute Learning Resource and Research Center
  • Connect SI Foundation, Inc. | Connect SI Content Development Team (CDT)
  • SmartChicago Sustainable Broadband Adoption | SmartChicago Sustainable Broadband Adoption

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Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. He tracks the development of Gigabit Networks, broadband's impact, and the universal service fund @BroadbandCensus. The articles and posts on BroadbandBreakfast.com and affiliated social media, including LinkedIN, 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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