President Obama's broadband stimulus plan, a provision of the administration's ARRA (American Recovery and Reconstruction Act), continues to be the talk of the broadband service provider town. However, the process of how the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will dole out its $4.7 billion portion of the funds has been an enigma. But it appears the NTIA is giving some guidance now.
With the NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) slated to start awarding grants by November, the agency is asking for volunteers to evaluate applications. NTIA's approach comes in stark contrast to the the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), which will use its own staff and hire other employees to make decisions on the $2.5 billion portion it is overseeing. Industry watchers argue that these volunteers will either lack the requisite experience or have unforeseen biases against the NTIA.
- PC World has this report
Updated: NTIA relying on volunteers to evaluate broadband grant proposals
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