Recovery Act: $182M Awarded for Broadband

The U.S. government is today announcing its first $182 million of awards for broadband stimulus projects, with fiber projects at the heart of the early handouts.

Vice President Joe Biden is in Dawsonville, Ga., today to announce the first 18 projects to get broadband stimulus money from the Recovery Act. The administration plans to hand out an initial $2 million for broadband projects in the next 75 days.

Overall, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) -- in conjunction with the the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) -- is awarding $4 billion in funds in a first broadband round. A total of $7.2 billion will be awarded over the coming year.

The agencies faced some delays in awarding monies for the first round because they received 2,200 applications asking for a combined $28 billion. A request for information (RFI) has now been issued asking for suggestions on how to streamline the project. (See Recovery Act: Round One Brings 'Nearly $28B' in Bids and Recovery Act: Speeding Things Up.)

Nonetheless, some monies are now being released and -- as expected -- are largely intended to boost rural high-speed communications (See Recovery Act: Big Apple Expects Little Bite.)

The projects span a broadband wireless deployment in Alaska; several middle mile awards in Georgia, Ohio, New York, and North Carolina; and last-mile projects in Maine and New Hampshire.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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