APRIL 28, 2010 -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced this past Monday the last nine American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments in the first round of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The most recent awards included more than $114 million in grants.
The NTIA awarded 82 grants worth $1.2 billion during Round 1 of BTOP. The grants funded projects in 45 states and territories. NTIA has began reviewing second round applications with the goal of making the first Round 2 grant announcements this summer.
"The level of interest in this program has been extraordinary, and is yet another indicator of the critical role broadband plays in achieving durable, sustainable economic growth," Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling said.
Eight of the final nine awards went to new infrastructure projects:
- Digital Bridge Communications received three grants worth a total of $4.28 million for wireless projects in Idaho. The company will match these grants with an additional $1.05 million. Each of the three projects includes a fiber component.
- The City of Williamstown, KY will receive a $535,000 broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $134,000 applicant-provided match to deploy a high-speed fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network to unserved and underserved communities south of its existing network in Corinth, and north of its existing network to areas of Grant and Owen counties in northern Kentucky. The project intends to offer broadband speeds up to 10 Mbps and directly connect the three municipal organizations within the service area -- Corinth City Hall, the Corinth Water District, and the Corinth Volunteer Fire Department -- free of charge. In addition, the project expects to offer broadband Internet access for local consumers, including approximately 680 households and 20 businesses.
- The Pine Telephone Co., Inc. of Oklahoma was awarded a $9.5 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $2.4 million applicant-provided match to deliver wireless broadband service to underserved areas of Southeastern Oklahoma, including the Tribal lands of the Choctaw Nation and its 10 counties.
- Critical Hub Networks Inc. won a $25.8 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $6.7 million applicant-provided match to provide broadband connectivity for last-mile Internet service providers and underserved areas of Puerto Rico, including the islands of Culebra and Vieques. The project plans include purchase of a 10-Gbps undersea fiber-optic cable directly connecting to Miami and deployment of more than 180 miles of terrestrial middle-mile microwave links using 11 towers. The network will offer speeds from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps to anchor institutions.
- Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative will receive a $19 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $5 million applicant-provided match to bring broadband services to 15 underserved counties and the cities of Emporia and Franklin in South Central Virginia by expanding and enhancing its existing wireless network.
- The Public Utility District of Pend Oreille County, WA, earned a $27.2 million broadband infrastructure grant with an additional $6.8 million applicant-provided match to bring broadband to underserved areas of Pend Oreille County in northeastern Washington State, which borders Idaho and Canada. The proposed fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network would deploy approximately 526 miles of fiber-optic cable to deliver last-mile broadband Internet services and facilitate network redundancy in this rural area. The project plans to offer affordable, high-speed broadband access to as many as 3,200 households, 360 businesses, and 24 community anchor institutions.