Better Broadband Better Lives

State Preferred Broadband Stimulus Projects Sweep Day 1

in Expert Opinion/NTIA/Recovery Act by

After reviewing the letters from the states to the NTIA, has learned that out of the first 7 broadband stimulus projects awarded today all were specifically recommended to the NTIA by the states, with the exception of the Rivada Sea Lion project in Alaska  and Bretton Woods Telephone Company project in New Hampshire.  Alaska did not recommend specific projects to the NTIA, and we are waiting to hear back from New Hampshire regarding their preferred project list.

This is most interesting to our readers because approximately one-third of all broadband stimulus projects submitted to the NTIA made it onto preferred projects lists from the states. This begs the question, how seriously is the NTIA taking the recommendations from the states?

So far,  has confirmed that letters from Kentucky, Minnesota, Northern Mariana Islands, South Dakota, and Indiana to the NTIA are the only letters considered confidential or "not public at this time". We look forward to the eventual disclosure of these documents. If you have any information regarding these, please send me an e-mail at

Note 1:50 pm :  I will be checking the next 11 projects to be released shortly.

Note 2:01 pm :  I'm building a spreadsheet of all of the projects announced today, you can view it live on Google Docs.

Note 2:40 pm: With help from several people we built the following tentative list:

  • Confirmed on preferred by states    6
  • Not on preferred by states  5
  • Unknown   6

Note 4:04 pm:

  • Confirmed Preferred     11
  • Not Preferred (N/A)    6
  • Unknown    1

All BTOP and BTOP/BIP programs were recommended by the states in letters to the NTIA, except Minnesota. I have called the recipient and asked if they were on Minnesota's preferred list. They said they would get back to me. Because states weren't asked to comment on BIP, none of the BIP recipients today are listed as preferred.

Andrew is an expert in web usability, product design and user-generated content. He has worked for the Sunlight Foundation, the Center for Public Integrity, and the American Farmland Trust. He was Chief Operating Officer of Broadband Census LLC from July 2009 to February 2010.


  1. My understanding is that the state’s were not asked by NTIA to rank or comment on BIP-only applications. As a result, these statistics can be misleading — you can’t blame RUS for granting applications that were not on state lists when states were not asked to include them on their lists. So, it looks to me like NTIA is taking the state recommendations seriously.

  2. @Mark, no problem. I’ll try to keep that going as the stimulus continues.

    @Paul, I don’t think we can judge how important the recommendations from the state are until it is all said and done. It was probably a wise political move to find sound projects that were also recommended by the states and make those among their first projects funded. Also, keep in mind that the total dollar figure of state recommended projects exceeds the total budget that the NTIA is going to spend in round 1. At some point recommendations or not, the NTIA is going to make decisions based on their and the Obama Administration’s priorities. I’m looking forward to seeing what those are, I’m sure you are too.

  3. Having been in the communication business for over 40 yrs I find it amusing that states can make any recommendation about broadband projects…….what do states know about communication….it was my understand this project was to increase broadband for those people who live in rural areas…….but notice most of project that have been approved seem to be for urban areas…….wireless technology is good ….but since wireless work on FM frequency, one should look at it in terms of radio stations……how far can you keep your station on radio, once you leave the urban area and began to go up and down the roads and into the surrounding trees……..wireless in rural area require towers…….sure, wireless works as long as you have signal but that signal must be repeated as you move along a given road (major)…….but even if you had signal the broadband signal would be degraded unless you were in open area (desert) . I guess if you could have satelite-base platform and everyone had an antenna and clear access to the sky, the people in rural areas may get some broadband signal not enough for video……if you have directv or dish network you know that weather place a part in reception.

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