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BIP

Expert Opinion: Technology Policy Institute Study Misunderstands Purpose of Broadband Program

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Finds Fault  with Study Critiquing Broadband Technology Opportunities Program WASHINGTON, November 18, 2013 – The Technology Policy Institute issued a report on Thursday criticizing the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).  Unfortunately, the report reflects a misunderstanding of the purpose of that program. The Technology Policy Institute study of BTOP mischaracterizes… Keep Reading

NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative and the Illinois Broadband Map

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, May 4, 2011 - Later today, at 2 p.m. CT, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois will kick off our "Wednesday Webinar" series, beginning with a discussion about the Illinois Broadband Map. Registration for this event is free. PCI feels so passionately about the Illinois Broadband Map because data and information should be central to helping promote sound policies, and because evidence suggests that broadband is a key driver of job creation and economic activity. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

House Cuts $302 Million from Broadband Stimulus

WASHINGTON August 10, 2010- The House has voted to pass HR 1586, which primarily provides funding for states for education funding and Medicaid. In order to offset the costs of the new funds, $302 million will be rescinded from broadband stimulus funds. The Senate has already passed the legislation. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

House Saves Broadband Funding

WASHINGTON July 29, 2010- With a vote of 308- 114 the House has approved a supplemental appropriations, HR 4899, which eliminates previous amendments that would have rescinded broadband funding. Keep Reading

USDA Official Testifies on Broadband

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2010 – Dallas Tonsager, Under Secretary for Rural Development with the US Department of Agriculture, spoke to the House Subcommittee on Rural Development, Biotechnology, Specialty Crops, and Foreign Agriculture yesterday on the topic of rural initiatives. One of the topics Tonsager covered was the issue of rural broadband adoption, which he praised for its effectiveness. “[Our] projects will serve approximately 600,000 rural households, 102,000 businesses and nearly 5,000 anchor institutions,” Tonsager said. Tonsager was accompanied by Rural Utilities Service Director Jonathan Adelstein, who did not deliver a statement. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Baucus to Cut $600 Million from Broadband Stimulus to Fund Tax Credits

WASHINGTON July 8, 2010- Montana Senator Max Baucus (D) is proposing a cut of $300 million from the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program and $300 million from Broadband Initiatives Program in order to fund new tax credits and extend unemployment benefits. Representative Dave Obey (D- Wis) has also proposed cutting the same amounts but wants to use the funds to offset the cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Broadband Stimulus to Lose $602 Million

WASHINGTON July 2, 2010- The House Appropriations Committee torescind $602 million from Commerce and Agriculture Department broadband stimulus programs. The two departments had to share $7.2 billion for the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program, Broadband Investment Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act. Every Department will have some of its funding cut in order to pay for the additional $75 billion being spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Overall the House Appropriations committee plans to cut $11.7 billion. Keep Reading

USDA Holds Workshop for BIP Grant Recipients

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2010 – The United States Department of Agriculture convened a workshop today for recipients of the Broadband Initiative Program (BIP), economic development experts, and USDA officials in Dallas last week. The workshop was keynoted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who made arguments suggesting that the Initiative Program would improve health care, education and increased economic opportunities in rural areas. Keep Reading

Secretary Vilsack Touts Efforts Made by RUS

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2010 –The US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has just released a report that outlines the first round of Broadband Initiatives Program grants from the stimulus package last year. During a conference call with the press USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that more than $1 billion has been awarded to 68 projects in 31 states. In these 68 investments, broadband service was brought to approximately 530,000 residents, 93,000 businesses, and 3,300 anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and other community centers. Keep Reading

An Organized Broadband System at the State Level

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2010 - The elements of an organized broadband system at the state level will vary depending upon geographic and economic characteristics. Urban and more populous areas will require middle-mile infrastructure to serve larger institutions, while existing last mile coverage may be adequate. Secondary and rural markets may require less extensive institutional capacity, while last mile coverage remains unacceptable. Keep Reading

Recovery Act/States

State Telecom Regulators Score NTIA and RUS for Unclear Tax Situation; Seek IRS Ruling

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2010 - The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners on Monday urged the Treasury Department to clarify the tax implications for the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. NARUC criticized the Commerce Department and the Agriculture Department for failing to clarify whether Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program grants, Broadband Infrastructure Program grants, and broadband mapping grants are taxable. Keep Reading

Designing, Implementing and Assessing an Internet Adoption Program for Senior Housing

LAKE FOREST, Ill., March 3, 2010 - On Tuesday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced a brief delay for some applicants for broadband stimulus grants. Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program Comprehensive Community Infrastructure projects will have until March 26th to file their applications to NTIA. Applicants for Rural Utilities Service infrastructure projects will have until March 29th to file their applications to RUS. But applicants for Applications in NTIA's two other project categories - Public Computer Centers and Sustainable Broadband Adoption - remain due on March 15th. As regards these latter category of applications, we have found that there are three essential elements in the design and implementation of an effective broadband adoption program for seniors living in senior housing communities and for their surrounding neighborhoods. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

RUS Releases Application Guide for Broadband Stimulus Grants as Workshops Continue

WASHINGTON, February 2, 2010 – The Rural Utilities Service of the Agriculture Department on Monday posted its guide to applying for grants awarded through the Broadband Infrastructure Program, or its portion of the broadband stimulus effort. The documents, posted on the “information library” portion of the BroadbandUSA web site, include the templates necessary to apply for RUS grants under the broadband stimulus program. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is responsible for the bulk of the broadband grants under its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, has not yet posted its application guide. Keep Reading

Wireless Broadband Challenges Include Rolling Up WISPS and Obtaining Stimulus Funding

GERMANTOWN, Md., January 31, 2010 - Two of the biggest challenges facing the expansion of wireless broadband in this country include the disparate number of rural and remaote wireless carriers, and how to ensure that stimulus funding goes to wireless carriers. The Wireless Internet Service Provider Directory lists 1,860 WISPs in the U.S., while another directory includes over 2,500. Notwithstanding, there exist numerous other WISPs that are simply not contained in these directories. Keep Reading

NTIA Chief Larry Strickling Urges BTOP Rejects to Reapply, Reapply, Reapply!

DENVER, January 29, 2010 - Ditch the discouragement, review successful applications and reapply, reapply, reapply, was the message at the Denver workshop on Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grants. “Don’t fret over round one, there’s more money in round two,” said Larry Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the Friday presentation. “I know folks are getting what you’re calling a rejection letter, but we’re looking at it as an 'opportunity to reapply' letter.” Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Big Broadband Stimulus Grants for Middle-Mile Networks in N.C. and Michigan

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2010 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Wednesday continued its rolling award of broadband stimulus grants, doling out $63 million for four broadband grants in Massachusetts, Michigan and North Carolina. With the announcements, the NTIA and the Rural Utilities Service have awarded $253 million in broadband stimulus grants, or about 3.5 percent of the total broadband stimulus funds. The money has been spent on 23 projects so far, or an average of $11 million per grant. The largest winners in Tuesday’s announcements were the Merit Network in Michigan, which won $33 million; and MCNC in North Carolina, which won $28.2 million. Both were for infrastructure grants to build fiber-optic networks within their states, connecting households and anchor institutions to broadband facilities. Keep Reading

Reflections on ‘Sustainable Adoption’ for Round 2 of Broadband Stimulus

LAKE FOREST, Ill., January 11, 2010 - Last July when the Round 1 of Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program was announced, Don Samuelson suggested that public housing authorities across the country ought to be applying to BTOP for financial assistance to promote the use of the Internet by their senior residents: “Every public housing authority in the United States should apply for stimulus funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency to set up a program to promote the benefits and use of the Internet for its senior housing residents. The goal should be to make the case for the practical benefits of broadband and the Internet sufficiently compelling so that seniors would want a computer and Internet connection in their individual units. The use of the Internet should be as valuable as a TV or a phone. This is a 'value proposition' that remains to be made. ” It appears that no one followed the suggestion. There were no sustainable adoption proposals in the first round of BTOP for senior housing. We’ve since updated our analysis and refined our thinking. Keep Reading

Recovery Act/Transparency

NTIA and RUS Launch Dating Service For Broadband Stimulus Applicants

WASHINGTON, January 11, 2010 - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service on Thursday launched a new web site designed to foster partnerships and collaborations among broadband stimulus applicants. The launch of the web site - http://match.broadbandusa.gov - comes at a time when the broadband community is eagerly awaiting announcement of the winners of broadband stimulus funding, and the new Notice of Funds Availability regarding the second and final round. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/Recovery Act

The Rise of the Middle Mile in Obama’s Theory of Broadband Stimulus

WASHINGTON, December 21, 2009 - Last Thursday's announcement of broadband stimulus - even if it was about two-and-a-half percent of the total broadband stimulus funding - was like manna to broadband industry. Whether or not broadband activists and broadband builders believe that the federal government will end up playing a significant part of the telecommunications industry, the tension-in-waiting for action has been palpable and long-building. Keep Reading

Expert Opinion/NTIA/Recovery Act

State Preferred Broadband Stimulus Projects Sweep Day 1

After reviewing the letters from the states to the NTIA, BroadbandBreakfast.com has learned that all of the broadband stimulus projects awarded today 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. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

Broadband Stimulus Rush Begins with $182 Million Dispensed Today in Dawsonville, Ga.; Less Than 3 Percent of Total Funds

WASHINGTON, December 17, 2009 – The White House announced that $182 million in federal funding for broadband stimulus funding will be dispensed Thursday by Vice President Joe Biden at Impulse Manufacturing in the rural town of Dawsonville, Ga. The initial grants are the first of a $2 billion disbursement in broadband funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act over the next 75 days, the White House said. The funding, said the White House, is “to bring broadband to communities that currently have little or no access to the technology.” Keep Reading

Recovery Act/States

Broadband Stimulus Grants Expected on Thursday

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2009 - The White House Office of Vice President Joe Biden is planning on traveling to Dawsonville, Georgia, on Thursday, to make an announcement on the stimulus act Congress approved in February. He will discuss how the recovery act investments are “improving communities and creating jobs in Georgia and rural areas across the country.” Biden will be joined by Governor Sonny Perdue. Keep Reading

Recovery Act

No BTOP Broadband Stimulus Awards Today or Tomorrow, Says Commerce Department

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. Keep Reading

NTIA/Recovery Act

NTIA and RUS Want Advice On Distributing Billions For Broadband

WASHINGTON, November 10, 2009 - The two government entities charged with distributing $7.2 billion to expand broadband deployment and adoption said Tuesday they are officially seeking public feedback on how to effectively get the funds to the applicants who should be receiving them. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service were assigned by Congress in January to administer the program but no awardees have yet to be named. Keep Reading

First County to Declare Broadband a Legal Right: Not Finland, but Switzerland

October 31, 2009 - Finland made headlines earlier this month in declaring that broadband had become a legal right. While this startled some people, the Finns were not the first people to declare this – the Swiss were. Further, in 2003, at the World Summit on the Information Society, a declaration of principles was drafted and signed by a number of nations around the world, including the United States. Keep Reading

NTIA/Recovery Act

Strickling and Adelstein Tout Role of Small Business, and Rural Ones, to Broadband Recovery

WASHINGTON, October 28, 2009 - Assistant Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Strickling said Wednesday that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will work to apply the lessons from the first round as it moves on to the next phase of broadband stimulus applications. “The NTIA and RUS are finalizing a new request for information that will help us shape the round two process,” Strickling said, testifying before the House Small Business Committee. He also said that at least 15 percent of the applications for stimulus funding came from small and disadvantaged businesses. Keep Reading

NTIA/Recovery Act

Lawmakers Want Stimulus Funds Getting To Rural America; 'Remoteness' Definition Raises Concerns

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2009 - Members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation raised concerns Tuesday about getting broadband stimulus funds out to remote areas and how these areas should be defined. The discussion took place during an oversight hearing on the process of awarding out the $7.2 billion provided to the federal government by Congress to expand broadband deployment and adoption. Keep Reading

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