Government Announces Broadband Grants

Today, Vice President Biden announced the first round of broadband grants and loans to bring Internet services to communities that currently do not have it.

The vice president was in Dawsonville, Ga., to announce an initial investment of $182 million for 18 broadband projects over 17 states.

The $182 million announced today accounts for only 9 percent of the $2 billion that will be dispensed by the end of February. In turn, that $2 billion represents only 27 percent of the $7.2 billion in federal funding allocated for broadband stimulus grants.

Biden will make the announcemen in Dawsonville, Georgia, that will receive a $33 million broadband award for the North Georgia Network Cooperative.

The 260-mile fiber optic network will connect downtown Atlanta to North Carolina, boost the region’s economy and create hundreds – even thousands – of jobs.

The eight-county area has a population of more than 334,000 and will pass through 146 county government facilities, 82 public schools, seven technical institutions, colleges and universities and four hospitals.

The White House outlined four types of awards being made today:

  • Middle Mile Awards – Build and improve connections to communities lacking sufficient broadband access.
  • Last Mile Awards – Connect end users like homes, hospitals and schools to their community’s broadband infrastructure (the middle mile).
  • Public Computing – Expand computer center capacity for public use in libraries, community colleges and other public venues.
  • Sustainable Adoption – Fund innovative projects that promote broadband demand.

The following Last Mile and Middle Mile awards were made today:

  • ALASKA: Anchorage, Rivada Sea Lion, LLC, $25.3 million grant with $6.4 million of leveraged funds; 4G high-speed broadband internet service availability to more than 9,000 unserved locations in a 90,000 square mile area where these Southwestern Alaska inhabitants are living at subsistence level.
  • HAWAII: Big Island Broadband/Aloha Broadband, Inc., $106,503 loan with matching funds of $87,405 to bring broadband services to an unserved area in the northern part of the islands where there are nearly 600 residents and businesses.
  • COLORADO/NEBRASKA: Peetz, Colorado, Peetz Cooperative Telephone Co., $1.5 million grant; expansion of existing infrastructure utilizing a combination of technologies. This project will make broadband service available to as many as 550 locations in the service area.
  • MICHIGAN: The Chatham Telephone Company, $8.6 million grant to bring high speed DSL broadband service to remote, unserved businesses and households within its rural territory; service that is comparable to the DSL service provided in its more populated areas.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bretton Woods, The Bretton Woods Telephone Company, $985,000 grant for 20 Mbps two-way broadband service to all potential customers and stimulate tourism in the area to substantially improve the local economy. This Fiber to The Premise service will be available to more than 400 locations.
  • NEW YORK: Potsdam, Slic Network Solutions (Nicholville Telephone) a grant of $4.3 million and loan of $1.1 million for a 136-mile fiber optic network reaching into five towns in rural Franklin County. This all-fiber network will deliver broadband voice, and IPTV services to remote rural areas. The network will offer service to more than 6,500 locations.
  • OHIO: North Central Ohio Rural Fiber Optic Network, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, $1,034,413 grant and $1,399,499 loan; and matching funds of $1,225,000. The funding is integral to a smart grid initiative and broadband service based on an open-connectivity fiber optic backbone network.
  • OKLAHOMA: Southeast Oklahoma, The Pine Telephone Company, $9.5 grant with an additional $4.6 million in private funds to provide services to an entirely remote, rural, unserved and severely economically disadvantaged community.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced today that they received almost 2,200 applications requesting nearly $28 billion in funding for proposed broadband projects reaching all 50 U.S. states.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The Broadband Initiatives funded in the Act are intended to accelerate broadband deployment in unserved, underserved, and rural areas and to strategic institutions that are likely to create jobs or provide significant public benefits.

Related “stimulus” stories on Dailywireless include; Government Receives 2,200 applications requesting $28 billion, DOE Announces $1.6B for Smart Grid Projects, GAO: Broadband Grants Lack Safeguards, Motorola + SkyTerra Team for 700 MHz/Sat Radios, WildBlue: $30M, Shovel-ready, Free Money: Round Two, KeyOn Applies for $150M to Expand 3.65 Ghz WiMAX, Cricket & One Economy Team on Digital Divide, Sprint Announces Smart Grid Ambitions, Meraki Talks Up WiFi Stimulus, Broadband Mapping Grants Awarded, Broadband Nation: A New Moonshot, T-30 Days for The First $4B, and Broadband Jobs?

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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