NTIA, RUS give small extension to second-round broadband stimulus applicants

NTIA and RUS have granted an extension on their deadline to file for broadband stimulus funds in the second round. Applicants for BTOP Comprehensive Community Infrastructure projects will have until March 26 to file with the NTIA, while applications for BIP infrastructure projects have a deadline of March 29. The other project categories still hold the same March 15 deadline.

Frustration among potential applicants has been mounting because not all of the first round awards are likely to be granted before the initial March 15 deadline. That has been a problem for second-round applicants who might be disqualified if they propose projects in the same places where first-round awards are granted.

NTIA and RUS are supposed to issue some $4 billion out of the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funding in this first round. The agencies have held steadfast with a March 15 application deadline for the second round. But in RUS' most recent announcement of stimulus awards, the agency said: "USDA is continuing to review broadband applications currently on file and expects to make additional announcements concerning awards throughout the current fiscal year."

Whether this small delay helps the application process is anyone's guess. NTIA and RUS have been swiftly granting awards this week.

For more:
- see this MuniWireless post

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