Broadband stimulus applications stretch from 700 MHz to 3.65 GHz

As the broadband stimulus deadline looms, businesses and cities spanning the country are rushing to file applications requesting millions of dollars for broadband network deployments. Among the latest wireless filers are SkyTerra and KeyOn.

The deadline for broadband stimulus applications is tomorrow, and it's likely that the list of entities filing for funding will grow dramatically as that date passes. Up for grabs is a total of $7.2 billion in funding, part of the government's $787 billion economic recovery imitative.

With so much money on the table, it's no surprise that companies and others across the country are rushing to grab a chunk. However, what's notable is the relative lack of big names among the filers so far. Indeed, some of the nation's largest telecom operators--Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, Comcast and others--have each said they will not file for stimulus money due to a number of factors, including the net neutrality stipulations guarding the distribution of the funds. San Francisco also is dropping its plans to request funds because, according to TMCnet, the program's rules prevent the city from applying for funds to serve some low-income areas.

Others, however, are taking their chances: Level 3 Communications previously announced it will apply for funds with plans of providing network services to potential customers outside large cities such as Denver, Colo., and Leap Wireless is teaming with global nonprofit One Economy to apply for broadband stimulus money that would provide wireless broadband to low-income people in five cities.

Among those wireless filings coming to light today:

  • SkyTerra said it would request $37 million to fund the development and deployment of two dual-mode wireless devices that the company said would be optimized for public-safety use. SkyTerra said the gadgets would be capable of communicating with both 700 MHz public-safety terrestrial networks and with SkyTerra's satellites--an offer that matches up with the company's previously announced plans to develop an integrated satellite-terrestrial communications network.
  • Rural wireless broadband operator KeyOn said it would request an unspecified amount of funds to build a WiMAX network in the 3.65 GHz band to expand its current rural coverage area from 2.5 million people to 6.5 million across 16 states.

After this week's round of grants are awarded, totaling $4.7 billion, the rest will be doled out in several chunks, and all of the money is scheduled to be allocated by September 2010. The Obama administration said the program will create 260,000 new jobs and stimulate the nation's sagging economy.

For more:
- see this SkyTerra release
- see this KeyOn release
- see this article
- see this TMCnet article

Related Articles:
Level 3 enters the broadband stimulus race
Leap applies for broadband stimulus grant
No surprise: Country's largest network operators not applying for stimulus money
Broadband stimulus applications given one-week extension   
Broadband stimulus rules released, net neutrality a requirement