The Broadband grants are slipping. In a report issued this week, the NTIA has extended the review period for first round grants and is now targeting December 2009 to begin making awards (it originally expected to have all first-round awards made by the end of the year). It now expects to make first-round awards by February 2010.
The NTIA has received 2,200 first-round applications totaling nearly $28 billion in funding requests–almost seven times the amount of current funding available .
NTIA and RUS also announced recently they will limit grant awards to only one more funding round (they originally anticipated three rounds). The Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for this second round is expected to be released some time in January 2010.
As for the mapping program, NTIA has awarded 15 grants “to fund two years of broadband availability collection and verification activities, and up to five years of broadband planning activities in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.” These awards sum to almost $28 million.
By law, all BTOP funds must be awarded by September 30, 2010, with expectations that all projects be complete by September 30, 2012.