Recovery Act: $11B Pours In for NTIA's Round 2

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said Wednesday that it has received requests totaling $11 billion for the second round of broadband stimulus money to be allocated from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). (See NTIA: Round 2 Nets $11B in Requests.)

There is a total of $4.8 billion in the kitty to be allocated in the second round of ARRA funding between the NTIA and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) . The NTIA plans to allocate approximately $2.6 billion in Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding, of which approximately $2.35 billion will be made available for infrastructure projects, including $150 million for public computer center projects, and at least $100 million for "sustainable broadband adoption projects." (See Recovery Act Round 2: Ding! $4.8B in the Ring.)

The NTIA says it received 867 applications requesting a chunk of its $2.6 billion cut. This suggests that applicants were a little bit circumspect with their applications this time, even if the round is still oversubscribed. The first $4 billion round brought in "nearly $28 billion in bids." (See Recovery Act: Round One Brings 'Nearly $28B' in Bids.)

Applicants like business WiMax provider Towerstream Corp. (Nasdaq: TWER) are targeting specific urban middle-mile broadband projects this time round. See TowerStream Chief Revenue Officer Mel Yarbrough talk about the operator's strategy for Round 2:

The NTIA says it will "employ a thorough review process" and try to make the initial Round 2 grant awards "this summer." — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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