Analyst: Top broadband stimulus applications have pork barrel project feel

Consulting firm Endeavour Partners has done some analysis on the top applicants vying for broadband stimulus money. Some of their business plans look quite dubious.

Among the top applicants, four are satellite, three are unlikely to qualify and the remaining two have a "bridge to nowhere feel," said the firm. "These are all very large projects and not one is likely to fit the model the architects of the broadband stimulus program had in mind."

Despite the fact that satellite already has nationwide coverage but doesn't "count" in the calculation of unserved and underserved markets, Echostar, Hughes and atConnect are vying for funds to support satellite broadband services. RADgov and Edgenics want excessive funding to support e-learning, computer learning centers and government information web portals. Kodak-Kenal and Adak Eagle are each asking for hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in undersea fiber to serve very few potential subscribers in remote areas of Alaska. Endeavour calls this "an underwater bridge to nowhere."

Further, three of the top 10 states ranked on funding requests per capita--Rhode Island, the District of Columbia and Maryland--are densely populated areas with significant broadband competition already, the firm said.

For more:
- see the Top 10 proposals
- check out Endeavour's post

Related articles:
WiMAX, fiber dominate first round of broadband stimulus applications
The full list of applicants for broadband stimulus funding, round 1
Broadband stimulus applications stretch from 700 MHz to 3.65 GHz

Updated Sept. 24, 12:51 ET time: Windtalk was originally listed as a satellite provider applicant. Endeavor Partners discovered the company not a satellite provider and was subsequently removed from the list.