Broadband Stimulus Gets First-Round Extension Until Aug. 20

BIP, BTOP push deadline six days owing to heavy volume

The two federal agencies administering the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program have extended the deadline for the first round of grant applications to Aug. 20, in part because of heavy volume.

The initial round of the broadband programs, a $7.2 billion initiative carved out of the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus package, had set a deadline of 5 p.m. on Aug 14 for applications. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service are administering the plans. The initial round was mainly for last mile and middle mile projects in unserved and underserved areas of the country.

The NTIA is expected to dole out about $1.6 billion in funding for the first round through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), with the RUS awarding about $2.4 billion through the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). The agencies have said that up to two additional rounds of funding will commence before Sept. 30, 2010.

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