Changes, Requirements, and Critical Details: Final Broadband Stimulus Opportunity for BTOP
Originally published: January 18, 2010
Last updated: January 18, 2010 - 3:36pm
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), more commonly known as the Stimulus Act, allocated $7.2 billion for broadband projects. Administrated by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), the first round of funding was announced through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in July 2009. On January 15, 2010 NTIA announced the second and final round of broadband stimulus funding. This NOFA makes up to $2.6 billion through BTOP, including, approximately $2.35 billion for Comprehensive Community Infrastructure; at least $150 million for Public Computer Center; and, at least $100 million for Sustainable Broadband adoption.
This paper distills the critical details of the January 15, 2010 NOFA communities and organizations need in order to develop strategies for applying for this final round.
Additionally, this paper outlines how this round differs from the first round and how it affects applicants.
- Separate BTOP and BIP Applications and Notices of Funding Availability.
- NTIA's top priority is to fund "Comprehensive Community" Infrastructure Projects focusing on middle mile broadband projects and new or substantially upgraded connections to key community anchor institutions. Priority will be given to projects that include a Middle Mile component.
- NTIA is removing the requirement that infrastructure projects connecting community anchor institutions, including community colleges, must be located in unserved or underserved areas, though projects in unserved and underserved areas will receive additional consideration.
- Eligible applicants for both programs can choose whether to apply for BIP or BTOP, but should only apply for one for each project
- Eliminated the proposed funded service area mapping tool and modified the service area delineations from Census blocks to Census tracts and block groups.
- Revising BTOP's eligibility factors and will use just three criteria - eligible entities, fully completed application, and matching
- For this round of funding, NTIA will award grants in three categories of eligible projects: Comprehensive Community Infrastructure (CCI), Public Computer Centers (PCC), and Sustainable Broadband Adoption (SBA).
- NTIA will give additional consideration to projects that propose to contribute a non-federal cost share/match that equals or exceeds 30 percent of the total eligible costs of the project.
- NTIA has removed the budget reasonableness and technical feasibility factors from the eligibility requirements, because these categories are more effectively evaluated during the expert review and due diligence phases of application consideration.
- NTIA has changed the number of expert reviewers from at least three to at least two
- NTIA will now collect the information most essential to project review in the application itself, with the option to collect additional data during the due diligence review, as needed
- NTIA has reduced the overall number of attachments to the applications
- All applicants are required to submit their applications electronically at https://applyonline.broadbandusa.gov. Applications will not be accepted via paper, facsimile machine transmission, electronic mail, or other media format, except through the request of waiver.
- Changes, Requirements and Critical Details: Final Broadband Stimulus Opportunity for BIP
- NTIA, RUS Announce Final Round of Broadband Stimulus Funding
- NTIA BTOP Report to Congress
- New Broadband Stimulus Requirements Include Urban Cities
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
- Broadband Infrastructure Application Guide for BTOP
- Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Quarterly Program Status Report
- BIP Round Two Application Guide
- Partner with Care for Broadband Projects
- Second Broadband Stimulus Funding Window Opens
- NTIA and RUS seek Input on Final Round of Broadband Stimulus Funding
- NTIA Announces Reopening of BTOP Application Window
- RUS Extends Deadline for Public Notice Requests on Pending Round Two BIP Applications
- Many Voices, Many Eyes Needed
- Demand Still Strong for Second Round of Broadband Stimulus Funding