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Texas Agriculture Department and Public Utility Commission List 52 Picks for Broadband Grants

in NTIA/Premium Content/Recovery Act by

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2009 – The state of Texas on Thursday released its list of the 52 projects that should be prioritized in the broadband stimulus funding decision pending by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the Rural Utilities Service.

Through Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Donna Nelson, Commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, the state provided a detailed itemization of its project priorities, as well as its recommendations for implementation of grant funding in Texas.

Even though Staples and Nelson said that its “extensive review process… was conducted in a very short period of time,” they said, “we are confident in the projects we have recommended.”

Although Staples and Nelson said that they had winnowed more than 150 applications potentially affecting Texas to 52, they also asked that the NTIA consider “all applications proposing Texas service for funding as well.”

Noting the vast landmass of the state, the officials said that the state’s highly rural nature meant that “the grants NTIA approves for Texas projects should be commensurate with the state’s size and the broadband needs of its unserved and underserved residents.”

In the portions of this story included below as premium content, provides links to uploaded copies of the October 14 letters of Commissioners Todd Staples and Donna Nelson, along with a complete list of the 52 projects recommended for selection by the NTIA and RUS.

[private_Premium Content][private_Free Trial]The October 14 letter to NTIA byTexas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Texas Commissioner of the Public Utilities Commission Donna Nelson (PDF): tda-puc-letterhead-final-2, also available at

The October 14 BTOP List (PDF): btop-list-final, also available at

“Proposed projects,” wrote Staples and Nelson, “were screened for the ability to extend broadband service to unserved and underserved populations; the reasonableness of the proposed cost of service; sustainability; the level of service to be provided; and the ability to address the policy goals of BTOP and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.”

“In addition to established NTIA program criteria, Texas prioritizes broadband expansion projects that support deployment in rural and remote areas, public safety connections and geographic diversity. We also included scalability as a criterion, recognizing that it may allow the strongest elements of a project to be funded, thereby achieving maximum deployment. We would prefer to see a large number of projects funded in many areas of the state, even if it means some proposals would not be fully funded in this grant cycle. We urge you to consider this preference for geographic diversity in evaluating projects that would provide broadband access in Texas.”

The officials also highlighted the challenges posed by the lack of a national broadband map. “In the absence of a broadband availability map, the state was also unable to confirm the proposals’ true abilities to reach unserved and underserved populations.”

Below is a list of the 52 projects included on the officials' list:

Last Mile

  • City of Corpus Christi, Grant Number 3097
  • CYTEC Software Systems, Inc., Grant Number 2812
  • Ellis County Texas Internet Service Provider, Inc., Grant Number 1121
  • Floresville Electric Light and Power System, Grant Number 3027
  • Galaxie Communications Services, L.L.C., Grant Number 1797
  • IGN-LPG Enterprises LLC, Grant Number 1604
  • Internet America, Inc., Grant Number 2097
  • Leaco Rural Telephone Cooperative Inc., Grant Number 1314
  • N-1 Communications, LLC, Grant Number 2309
  • Spacenet Inc, Grant Number 704
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Grant Number 890
  • Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc., Grant Number 1801
  • Voice Runner, Inc., Grant Number 2718
  • Worldcall Interconnect, Inc, Grant Number 1940
  • Worldcall Interconnect, Inc, Grant Number 1966
  • Worldcall Interconnect, Inc, Grant Number 1981
  • Yonder Media, Inc., Grant Number 3679
  • Yonder Media, Inc., Grant Number 3236
  • Yonder Media, Inc., Grant Number 2869

Middle Mile

  • ART Leasing, Inc. dba FiberTower Broadband Corp., Grant Number 2626
  • Brazos Valley Council of Governments, Grant Number 3347
  • City of Corpus Christi, Grant Number 1305
  • City of Houston, Grant Number 2864
  • City of McAllen, Grant Number 3064
  • City of San Antonio, Grant Number 1160
  • Government and Educational Broadband Services, Inc., Grant Number 3249
  • Government and Educational Broadband Services, Inc., Grant Number 3816
  • Level 3 EON, LLC, Grant Number 1973
  • TSBL, Grant Number 1780
  • TSBL, Grant Number 3034
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Grant Number 1843
  • Trillion Partners, Grant Number 1091


  • ERF Wireless, Inc., Grant Number 1286
  • Hughes Network Systems, LLC, Grant Number 2790

Public Computer Center

  • Bedford Public Library, City of Bedford, Texas, Grant Number 2439
  • CHRISTUS Health, Grant Number 3179
  • City of Alice, Texas, Grant Number 3348
  • City of Arlington – Library, Grant Number 1580
  • City of Brownsville/Brownsville Public Library System, Grant Number 3163
  • City of Dickinson, Grant Number 3355
  • City of Grapevine, Grant Number 2737
  • City of Houston, Grant Number 2691
  • City of Lancaster, Grant Number 1785
  • City of San Antonio, Grant Number 2107
  • Corsicana Public Library (City of Corsicana), Grant Number 3709
  • County of Webb, Grant Number 1750
  • Deaf Action Center of Louisiana, Grant Number 1523
  • Familiy Service Association of San Antonio, Inc., Grant Number 1867
  • Hall-Voyer Foundation, Grant Number 2890
  • Harris County (public library), Grant Number 3866
  • Houston Housing Authority, Grant Number 518
  • Mounting Horizons, Inc., Grant Number 1913

About was launched in January 2008, and uses “crowdsourcing” to collect the Broadband SPARC: Speeds, Prices, Availability, Reliability and Competition. The news on 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 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, 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[/private_Premium Content][/private_Free Trial]

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of and President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress. He is an attorney who works with cities, communities and companies to promote the benefits of internet connectivity. The articles and posts on 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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