Light Reading
Unstrung charts the companies bidding for broadband stimulus funds

Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
8/26/2009
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The deadline for applying for the first $4 billion of broadband stimulus money has come and gone, and a number of companies and groups have announced bids.

Unstrung has compiled an initial list of companies and groups that have applied for funds. Where possible we've included how much they asked for, how the money would be used, and the funding program to which the companies have applied.

This is clearly not a comprehensive list. Some operators and groups haven't announced bids yet, while the first-round winners won't be unveiled until September at the earliest. We invite readers to send in any updates they think applicable, and we'll add them to the table. Please send email updates to editors@unstrung.com.

Table 1: Broadband Stimulus Applicants

Company/Group Amount Project Areas Program
360networks TBA Fiber optic network Western US TBA
Champion WiFi $2.7M City WiFi network Monrovia, CA. BTOP
Clearwire TBA Mobile WiMax TBA TBA
Cricket Communications $8.6M High-speed wireless Internet access Multiple Cities TBD
DigitalBridge $100M WiMax TBA TBA
ERF Wireless $20M Rural WiMax LA, TX TBA
IBEC TBA BPL Ala. TBD
Internet America Inc TBA Fixed Wireless Rural Texas BTOP/BIP
KeyOn Corp. $150M WiMax network Nationwide BIP
Level 3 Comms. Less than $50M Improving amplifier stations Kan., Tenn. TBD
National Medical Wireless Broadband Alliance TBD Wireless medical networks 70 U.S. hospitals BTOP
OpenCape $40M Fiber optic network Mass., NE BTOP
SkyTerra Comms $37M Develop 700 Mhz public safety devices N/A BTOP
TDS Telecom TBD Wireline 13 U.S. states BIP
TowerStream Corp. $120M WiMax 17 underserved metro areas BTOP
WildBlue Comms $30M Satellite broadband Ariz., Colo., Wyom. BTOP
Xfone TBD Wireline TBD TBD
Yonder Media $9.4M Internet access in remote areas Nev., Calif. TBD
BIP Broadband Initiatives Program
BTOP Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
TBA To Be Announced
TBD To Be Determined
Sources: Unstrung, Cable Digital News, Business Week


In this first round of funding, there's about $2.4 billion available under the rural Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) for deploying broadband in the boondocks. Meanwhile, up to $1.6 billion is available in the Broadband Technologies Initiative Program (BTOP), which is intended to promote new broadband technology in unserved and underserved communities.

Overall, $7.6 billion will be paid out under the broadband element of the Recovery Act. Of this, up to $4.7 billion is due to be paid out under BTOP funding by the end of September 2010. The next rounds are expected to get underway in the spring and fall of 2010. (See Recovery Act: Bids Come In.)

States and cities such as NYC and Philadelphia were also expected to make bids for funds. Unstrung will create a separate chart for those bids if and when more data is available.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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jggveth
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jggveth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:02 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


How is the government going to gove away $4.2 billion for these little carriers/projects?  Something is wrong.  The larger carriers like the RLECs don't seem to want the money. 

omniobso
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omniobso,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:01 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


Excuse me, but CLWR is not what I would classify as a 'little carrier/project'.  Perhaps we have different reference points.

jggveth
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jggveth,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:01 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


Don't get me wrong.  I think you did good work here.  I am just pointing out that telecom carriers, especially publicly traded ones, have probably looked at the banks and the auto companies and decided they don't want government money.  Also, what is the business case for serving very rural areas where paying customers are few and far between?  I know it's early but so far Broadband Stimulus looks like its failing.  It may be a boon for start-up wireless and satellite companies but on a larger scale so far not so good. 

joset01
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joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:01 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index
I don't think the full extent of those that bid for monies has been revealed yet. I wanted to do something that we can add to over time.

A lot of the larger carriers weren't interested though. The Act stipulates network sharing and disclosure of some behind-the-scenes fees that most of the big guns would prefer not to give up I suspect.
joset01
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joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:00 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index
Thanks!

I think you're right, a lot of the bigger operators just didn't see enough incentive in money+conditions to get into really rural areas.

There's still might be some interesting names and data points to come though, for instance:

-- Did MetroPCS apply for money?
-- Did CenturyTel apply for money towards its LTE rollout?

Also remember this is only the first round. The next two might have more focus on under-served areas in cities.

DJ
kaps
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kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:00 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


DigitalBridge should also be on this list -- think they are on the record saying they are looking for $100M+ in lots of new markets. Remember the deal they did with the NRTC -- rural ops -- so expect to see them in the mix too.


Aren't some states also applying directly for these funds?

kaps
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kaps,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:58:00 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


DigitalBridge should also be on this list -- think they are on the record saying they are looking for $100M+ in lots of new markets. Remember the deal they did with the NRTC -- rural ops -- so expect to see them in the mix too.


Aren't some states also applying directly for these funds?

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:57:56 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


 


omni,


Clearwire is tiny today.  It COULD become big but today has much less than 1 Million subscribers.  When people are talking about the RLECs as opposed to the IOCs generally they are talking about companies that break that million line mark.


 


seven


 

joset01
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joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:57:47 PM
re: Recovery Act: The Stimulus Index


I've updated the list with DBC and more new details.


 


Kaps, I'll do a separate list for cities & states as that data becomes availble.

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