Deltacom, Zayo, discuss fiber-centric BTOP proposals

AUGUST 31, 2009 -- Deltacom says it applied for $9.4 million in grant funding, with Deltacom pledging to kick in an additional $2.3 million. Zayo says it seeks $25 million.

AUGUST 31, 2009 -- ITC^DeltaCom, Inc., a provider of integrated communications services to customers in the southeastern United States, and Zayo Bandwidth, a regional provider of fiber-based bandwidth services for carrier, enterprise and government customers, have provided details of the proposals they filed for federal stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).

According to reports from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Rural Utilities Service, nearly 2,200 stimulus applications were received in round one of the grant process, totaling approximately $27.6 billion in funding, seven times more than the earmarked available funds.

Deltacom (search Lightwave for Deltacom) says it applied for $9.4 million in grant funding, with Deltacom pledging to kick in an additional $2.3 million to create new access points to Deltacom's fiber network across several underserved markets.

"Deltacom is focused on providing competitive communications services, currently serving customers in a number of rural markets," said Jerry Watts, Deltacom's vice president of government and industry affairs. "If Deltacom is awarded a grant through the BTOP selection process, our proposal would deliver access to last-mile providers for their broadband initiatives and would be a natural extension of the Deltacom network."

Through its wholesale group Interstate FiberNet, Deltacom has also participated with last-mile providers in several other grant applications, including approximately $47 million in construction and broadband access elements.

Meanwhile, Zayo (search Lightwave for Zayo) says it seeks $25 million in direct federal stimulus funding to extend its fiber-based network infrastructure to 80 rural communities and 21 higher education institutions in certain Midwest markets. Zayo Bandwidth will provide "middle-mile" broadband and transport services for these projects.

Zayo adds it collaborated with partners to apply for an additional $50 million in funding for broadband development/expansion projects in other markets.

"In early 2009, Zayo dedicated a team of personnel to leverage the Company's dense fiber assets in rural markets for the deployment of broadband availability to underserved communities and public good institutions," said Christopher Morley, CFO of Zayo Bandwidth. "Zayo's contribution of $10-15 million of its own funds demonstrates the company's commitment to delivering these services to those who have traditionally had limited or no access to affordable broadband."

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