Operators undecided about stimulus funds

Unstrung reports that some U.S. operators have yet to decide whether they will apply for broadband stimulus grants and loans made available for unserved and underserved areas.

While wireless ISPs such as Towerstream and ERF Wireless are eager to apply for funds, other operators such as CenturyTel, which plans to roll out Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology to its rural customers using the 700 MHz band, have not decided. The deadline to apply for the first round of funds--$4 billion worth--is Aug. 15.

Open Range Communications, which recently scored a loan from the Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program and another $100 million in private equity funds, is also unsure whether it will tap the funds for more money. Open Range is deploying WiMAX in rural areas.

It's widely believed that major operators may not bother applying for funds because of the open access requirements attached to the money. For smaller operators, they need to find matching funds of at least 20 percent toward the total project cost.

For more:
- take a look at Unstrung

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