AUGUST 19, 2010 By Stephen Hardy -- U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden yesterday announced 94 broadband stimulus awards from both the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the Broadband Investment Program (BIP). The awards, representing a total investment of $1.8 billion, will fund projects across 37 states.
The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded 66 BTOP grants, while the US Department of Agriculture made 28 awards from its BIP. Notable awards from a fiber perspective included a $16.2 million BTOP middle-mile award, with more than $7.8 million in matching contributions, to the UTOPIA open-access community fiber network in Utah, as well as the following FTTH/FTTP BIP-funded projects:
- North Alabama Electric Cooperative, $19 million
- Cedar Falls Utility of Iowa, $873,000 matched by an equal amount in private contribution
- United Electric Cooperative, Inc. of Missouri, approximately $21 million
- Smithville Telephone Company, Inc. of Mississippi, $7 million for a combination of FTTP and DSL
- Sjoberg's, Inc. of Minnesota, $866,060
- Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corp. of North Carolina, $21,668,232
- Waitsfield-Fayston Telephone Co. of Vermont, $5,559,975
Meanwhile, Cellular Properties, Inc. received $12,264,520 from BIP for a project that augments wireless broadband with fiber to the tower. Several other wireless projects, as well as satellite-based proposals, received funding as well.
Agencies of the Commerce and Agriculture departments are in the home stretch of BTOP and BIP awards, with a September 30 deadline looming for awarding of all of the money allotted to them. The BTOP program recently was reduced by $302 million to fund a jobs program.