WASHINGTON, December 14, 2009 – As the half way mark of December approaches, the two government entities charged with distributing $7.2 billion to expand broadband deployment and adoption have yet to announce any grant recipients.
An NTIA official told Broadband Census News on Monday that the agency will not be announcing any grant awardees on Monday or Tuesday, December 15, but still plans to start announcing recipients sometime this month.
The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration originally intended to start announcing grant recipients in November, but Larry Strickling, head of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, told lawmakers during an oversight hearing on October 27 that the program has been falling behind.
“Given the large number of complex applications and the very voluminous amount of information that we need to review, we have decided to expand our review period,” Strickling said. “And we are now targeting our first grant awards for mid-December, about a month later than we originally projected last July when we announced the first round of funding. Similarly, we will not conclude the first round of funding at the end of this year as we had originally hoped … But, we expect to do so in February of next year,” Strickling continued.