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Articles

Federal Agencies Outline Broadband Funding Opportunities and Request Comments

March 10, 2009

Articles

Federal Agencies Outline Broadband Funding Opportunities and Request Comments

March 10, 2009

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On March 10, 2009, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) held a public meeting to discuss the new broadband initiatives that were funded by the recently-enacted economic stimulus package.

During the meeting, the agencies outlined their anticipated timetables for implementing these programs, announced six additional joint public meetings (March 16, 17, 18, 19, 23 and 24), and released a joint request for comments that should be published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2009. The joint request for comments raises a number of issues for discussion regarding the NTIA and RUS programs, including grant eligibility, selection criteria, key definitions, the role of the states in the grant process, and the relationship between the NTIA and RUS programs.

NTIA and RUS announced that they plan to accept and approve funding applications in three rounds. NTIA anticipates that its first round will begin between April and June 2009, and RUS plans to release its first Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) in the next 60 to 90 days.

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