What Broadband Projects are in Line for Stimulus Funding?

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In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus package, Congress appropriated $7.2 billion for broadband grants, loans, and loan guarantees to be administered by the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The deadline for submissions was earlier this year.

Now, you can search the database yourself to find what projects were submitted.

Endeavour Partners, a consulting company, downloaded the data to see what it could find out about the proposals.

First of all, $28 billion in requests was submitted for $7.2 billion in funding.

Other observations include:

  • 2,186 applications were received
  • The average application size was $12.7 million, but the median application size was $2.7 million
  • Alaska had the largest total dollar amount requested, at $1.3 billion
  • The largest application was from RADgov, a proposal to build and connect computer learning centers in underserved communities across the US for $938 million
  • The top 10 states requesting the most money were California, Florida, Colorado, Alaska, New York, Texas, Virginia, Missouri, Maryland, and Illinois.
  • The top 10 states requesting the most money per capita were Alaska, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Hawaii, Vermont, Colorado, New Mexico, and Maryland.

While a number of the top 10 per capita states actually are laggards in terms of broadband availability, "three of the top 10 states ranked on funding requests per capita are in the top 10 for actual broadband performance: Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, and Maryland," the group said. "These are all densely populated areas with meaningful broadband competition."

Awards for this first round are expected to be announced in November.

"It will be interesting to see how the process plays out – if awards will be made to a few large, pork barrel projects or if dollars will be carefully allocated to the rural states and areas where broadband economics break down and private sector competition is likely to remain weak," Endeavour concluded.

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