Over 150 network operators applied for funding in a broadband program operated by the state of Michigan. The operators requested $1.3 billion in funding through the program, which has a budget of $231 million.
Applications were due yesterday in the Realizing Opportunity with Broadband Infrastructure Networks (ROBIN) program. The $1.3 billion in funding would have covered some of the costs of broadband deployments estimated to cost a total of $2.3 billion.
The applications proposed to connect approximately 380,000 locations.
In a press release, the Michigan High Speed Internet (MIHI) Office said it was “excited and energized by the overwhelming interest in the program and the enthusiasm of applicants.”
Awards will be made based on a scoring system, with a steering committee making initial grant recommendations to be followed by a 45-day comment period.
During that period, challengers can object to awards if the areas involved already have service available at speeds of 100/20 Mbps, are planned to be connected at that speed within one year or are part of another federal or state program that will deliver service at that speed.
“Considering the number of applications, the staggering grant funds requested and the detail to which our staff and the ROBIN steering committee review each applications, this process could take some time,” the MIHI Office cautioned.