Broadband Stimulus Applicants Revealed

As of a couple of days ago, applicants for broadband stimulus funds are now listed on the NTIA’s website. Utah has a number of applicants including the University of Utah, The Utah Transit Authority, and, not surprisingly, UTOPIA.

Several rural ILECs have also gotten into the game including Emery Telecom and Manti Tele Communications. Emery is apparently looking to deploy FTTP to beef up their triple-play offerings and replace their existing HFC CATV network. The finished product would be active Ethernet like iProvo and UTOPIA with up to 1Gbps at each address served. A separate request would use FTTN and wireless to reach more remote areas. Manti, meanwhile, is looking to use WiMax to reach more remote areas that currently do not have broadband service. Both of these projects are good news for Utahns.

Ogden City has also made an application to provide broadband access to government services and underserved residents. There is also an application for what appears to be a city-wide WiFi network. Given their reluctance to join UTOPIA, it’s rather surprising that they have done an about-face on city-provided services. My best guess is that they were holding out for someone else to pay for it.

So what about UTOPIA? They made three separate applications totaling around $54M. The only thing available is a general overview, but the requests appear to be targeted at Orem, Murray, Midvale, West Valley City, Layton, and Centerville. One of them hints at using a special assessment area (SAA) to triple the impact of at least $10.5M of the money applied for. Depending on how fast NTIA can review and approve applications, we may soon know if there will be more money for UTOPIA construction in the near term.

With applicants asking for 7 times what’s available in the first round, it will be interesting to see who makes the cut.

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9 Responses to Broadband Stimulus Applicants Revealed

  1. Capt. Video says:

    I’m actually surprised how few companies from Utah submitted applications. I would have expected we see more under-served areas in the state apply? Communities without broadband?

  2. Jesse says:

    It’s a pretty short list. I would guess that communities without it are somewhat hamstrung by a lack of private companies willing to provide service (even with a slice of federal pie) and restrictions on operating a municipal system. It could also be that companies are waiting to see how the first round works out before applying for money in subsequent rounds.

  3. Capt. Video says:

    I see that the STATE will get to weigh in on the UTOPIA applications getting funded?

    From the NTIA web site….”States will be provided an opportunity to make recommendations concerning the allocation of funds for qualifying projects in or affecting the individual states during step two of the BTOP application process.”

    I’m not thinking that is good for UTOPIA? Utah’s conservative, republican state government may not like the idea of using stimulus funds at all, and more so using them for government to compete with private companies (that contribute to them)?

  4. Jonathan says:

    The University of Utah proposals are really UEN (Utah Education Network) but they are run under the U of U so all bid requests have the U’s name on it.

    Page 17 details their requests to some degree.

  5. Jesse says:

    Capt: I, for one, will be heavily lobbying my state legislators to not do something so incredibly boneheaded. I’d hope that other readers will do the same.

  6. Capt. Video says:

    I was going to suggest the same. I see the stimulus money as the best hope (only hope?) of UTOPIA making up for lost ground and perhaps turning out semi successful.

    I guess it would help if we knew whom at the State level will get the review input?

    Would that be the Legislature? The Governor? Some State Agency? Then we would know where to direct or support efforts? I’m sure that Comcast, Qwest and others already know that are have already started their efforts.

    It’s important to note that the State Input on projects only takes place AFTER the project has made the first cut with the feds.

  7. u235sentinel says:

    @Jesse I will do the same but I have to ask. Does our Legislature actually care?

    They don’t seem to understand the problems. Probably why we need to fire the lot of them. They are obviously too old to understand what the majority of Utahn’s already understand.

    The Internet is the Freeway of tomorrow and we need to start building it before it’s too late.

    In watching other countries, they understand the need. I hear companies like Qwest and Concast whispering into their ears saying people don’t need the Internet. We don’t need competition. We have everything American’s want. People don’t want streaming video or whatever.

    Isn’t that exactly what we use it for? I don’t run an ISP but I know people who do. What I’m hearing is people use the Internet very heavily for streaming video as well as other activities (browsing, email, whatever).

  8. Jesse says:

    That’s kind of the point: it’s our job to make them care and educate them on the issues. A great example is Rep. Tim Cosgrove. He readily admitted he isn’t tech-savvy, but he was willing to read information I passed along. While the Howard Stephensons and Craig Franks of the legislature get a lot of the attention, there are still a number of level-headed members who are willing to hear us out.

  9. u235sentinel says:

    I agree. That’s why I’m working with people to get the word out and make sure people LIKE Craig Franks and Howie don’t get re-elected.

    If people knew them well they wouldn’t vote for them IMO.

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