U.S. Government doles out initial broadband stimulus awards

At long last, the U.S. government revealed the initial recipients of the broadband stimulus program. Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden announced 18 broadband projects that will get access to the first $182 million of the total $7.2 billion in available grants.

Over the next 75 days, the Obama administration says it will award $2 billion in grants and loans on a rolling basis. Thus far, the Department of Agriculture and the Commerce Department handed out $53.8 million and $129 million for the 18 projects, respectively. Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire and Ohio were among the six states that were awarded broadband funding grants.

The awards are targeted to accommodate four primary missions:

  • Middle Mile: $121.6 million to build and improve connections to communities lacking broadband access.
  • Last Mile: $51.4 million to connect end users like homes, hospitals and schools to the middle mile network points.
  • Public Computing: $7.3 million to expand computer center capacity for public use in libraries, community colleges and other public venues.
  • Sustainable Adoption: $2.4 million to fund innovative projects that promote broadband demand "with population groups where the technology has traditionally been under-utilized."

While many states and small telcos fared well in the first round of funding, a report in Cable Digital News revealed that cable got the short end of the stick.

Although large cable operators such as Comcast decided not to participate, an American Cable Association (ACA) survey revealed that of the 83 smaller cable operators that applied for stimulus funding, the only smaller cable operator to get funding was Pine Telephone Co. Pine Telephone received a $9.5 million grant to offer UMTS 3G-based wireless broadband services to a remote and "severely economically disadvantaged community" of 7,815 homes in Southeast Oklahoma.

For more:
- AP has a report on the funding awards here
- Cable Digital News has this perspective

Related articles

NTIA delays broadband stimulus awards again
NTIA, RUS flooded with broadband stimulus applications totaling $28 billion
NTIA, RUS delay broadband grant awards
NTIA to begin awarding broadband stimulus grants in November
Broadband stimulus: Clarity is needed, say service providers
NTIA reports strong interest in broadband funding applications
Comcast protests broadband stimulus grant applications

Suggested Articles

Advantech announced on Tuesday that it made a new addition to its portfolio of appliances qualified by Versa Networks.

Through a new partnership, Wind River is working with Dell EMC on a virtual RAN (vRAN) infrastructure use cases for 5G networks.

Google Cloud buys CloudSimple, which is a startup startup focused on enabling VMware customers move to their workloads to the public cloud.