Final BTOP broadband stimulus awards announced

Sept. 28, 2010
SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday announced the final 14 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments to be awarded through the Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Only two of the total $206.8 million in grants announced went to infrastructure projects.

SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke yesterday announced the final 14 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments to be awarded through the Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Only two of the total $206.8 million in grants announced went to infrastructure projects. Both of these awards went to wireless projects. The remaining funds went to Public Computer Center and Sustainable Broadband Adoption projects.

Through the BTOP, administered by the NTIA, the Department of Commerce awarded nearly $4 billion in funding to 233 projects. Most of these were “middle mile” projects. The Commerce Department released the following data on these projects, based on estimates provided by the grant recipients:

  • BTOP will have funded the installation or upgrade of approximately 120,000 miles of broadband networks, based on fiber optics, wireless, microwave, and other technologies. Of this amount, approximately 70,000 miles involve construction of new broadband facilities.
  • Approximately 24,000 community anchor institutions, including schools, libraries, government offices, health care facilities, and public safety entities, will receive broadband access via these networks.
  • The middle-mile infrastructure will serve areas with nearly 40 million households and 4 million businesses. Many of these users will benefit from new or improved broadband service provided by last-mile providers that are able to use the new, open infrastructure to extend or upgrade their service for consumer and business customers, according to the Department.
  • In addition to the infrastructure projects, the BTOP provided investment in more than 3,500 new or upgraded public computer centers in libraries, schools, community centers and other public locations, as well as more than 35,000 new or upgraded public computer workstations. It also will make public computer center workstations and training available to more than 1 million new users.

Each funded project must be substantially complete within two years and fully complete within three years, according to the funding rules.