It’s hard to believe that the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program was signed into law as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 almost 18 months ago. What’s even more interesting is that with just about two months to go until the September 30, 2010 deadline to announce all of the awards, over half of the announced funds, or roughly $4.2 billion, has yet to be awarded (the total figure is subject to debate, since there is an effort to reclaim $602 million from the program).

That should make the next 60 days quite interesting. Will the program look to fund the larger requests to help put a bigger dent in the remaining funds, or will they look to fund many more smaller projects? Some of the bigger requests come from large players. For example Qwest asked for $350 million and Windstream is requesting $238 million. Between the two of them, that’s roughly 15% of the remaining funds right there.

NTIA received 867 applications, requesting $11B in funding for the second round, while RUS received 776 requests for $11.2B, so there’s no shortage of demand for the remaining funds.

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With all of that money to distribute, the broadband stimulus program will announce awards over the next two months equivalent to roughly $70 million per day. The broadband stimulus program will have to make a quarterly report to Congress in mid-August, so I suspect we’ll see decent activity before then. Stay tuned.

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6 thoughts on “Broadband Stimulus Bonanza for August/September?

    1. Its not for rural. They lied. Its for large companies who serve the suburbs. The FCC feels like we can just get used to overpaying satellite for connectivity. Heck their own plan calls for 4mb! 4 freaking meg! What a joke!

        1. Hey guys, what did you expect of a government give away? This wasn't about technology, this was a form of pumping money into the economy, temporarily!

          1. Tenshotelk makes a great point, which sometimes gets lost in this debate. The bbstim program is a part of the ARRA, whose main goal is to stimulate the economy. That goal may not always align well with the right policy decisions about broadband funding. What do you think – is NTIA and RUS under pressure to just get the funds out the door to help stimulate the economy, rather than making good policy decisions about where and how that money should be spent?

  1. I believe that NTIA and RUS are under considerable pressure to get the money out the door. Our experience with RUS, NTIA and their 3rd party consultants is that they are for the most part very diligent about the applications we have submitted for our clients. The questions have been the type that we generally encounter with the RUS Loan application process.

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