The National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) is planning meetings March 2 with those interested in receiving some of the $4.7 billion broadband stimulus money the agency is in charge of doling out.
The NTIA will hold the meetings at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and will offer interested parties the opportunity to discuss the implementation of the Broadband Grant Programs. Industry consultant Craig Settles, head of Successful.com, said if local governments and communities hope to get some of this money, they better get to these meetings.
"Incumbents and large providers know about these meetings and they'll try to dominate the process to get RFP requirements that favor them. Communities and smaller providers could lose out, and as a result their economies won't benefit nearly as much as it would if communities are active participants in this process," he said.
The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) has $4.7 billion for eligible parties to develop and expand broadband services to rural and under-served areas and improve access to broadband by public safety agencies. Of that, $250 million is available for programs that encourage sustainable adoption of broadband services. And at least $200 million is earmarked to upgrade technology and capacity in public centers such as community colleges and public libraries. Additionally, up to $350 million is available for the development and maintenance of statewide broadband inventory maps.
- see NTIA's official notice in the Federal Register
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