Originally published: June 30, 2011
Last updated: June 30, 2011 - 7:20pm
As more and more broadband stimulus winners begin to break ground on their projects, at least a dozen stimulus winners have opted not to join them.
Unused awards represent a small fraction of roughly $7.2 billion in awards made in the broadband stimulus program -- and the money involved, which Telecompetitor estimates at approximately $118.2 million -- will be returned to the general treasury.
Two awards made by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will not be used by the winners. The value of those two awards is approximately $37.3 million.
Ten awards totaling $80.9 million made by the Rural Utilities Service opted not to take awards made by the RUS, including one company that returned two awards. There was no single over-riding reason why stimulus winners opted not to use their awards, but all of the reasons fit into one of five categories. The biggest single reason stimulus winners didn't use their awards—cited by four organizations–was that they found the terms of the award too daunting. Another three winners ran into problems with the project itself. Two more winners said that in the time between when they applied for funding and received it, broadband became available in parts of their project where it had not been available previously, minimizing the need for the project. And one project was scrapped because the company that proposed it was acquired by another company that didn't want to use the technology proposed in the project.
The remaining three projects involved two organizations that did not respond to attempts by Telecompetitor to contact them. Telecompetitor also was unable to uncover any published reports about why these two organizations did not accept their awards.
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