StimulatingBroadband.com 07/01/09 As we have previously reported (links, below), it is a near certainty that the 2 federal agencies, National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce (NTIA), and Rural Utilities Service at the Department of the Department of Agriculture (RUS), will be issuing one set of consolidated regulations today as the Obama Administration launches the first funding round for the "broadband stimulus" provisions of the Recovery Act.
The reality of a single NOFA which consolidates and unifies the broadband stim regulations for both agencies is not merely procedural. It is a matter of substance. We believe it is first and foremost a matter which signifies the legacy and continuing nature of USDA-RUS programs and regulations for rural telecom.
The 2 sites to watch for the NOFA posting:
That is the new site, Broadband USA, launched over the past 24 hours, which is operated cooperative by NTIA and RUS.
That is the new 'front end', also deployed over the past day, to the NTIA's BTOP site.
Additionally, USDA brought its new Recovery site live 5 days ago:
We recommend watching all 3 sites, AND both the OMB and the main Recovery.gov portal to track all of the accounting guidelines, programmatic regulations, and allied reporting requirements for broadband stimulus. Today's NOFA is critical, but it is not the only set of regulations bearing on applications, awards, and network builds funded by the program.
Office of Management & Budget, main site:
Accredited media has been invited to participate in a joint NTIA - RUS conference call starting today at 1:45 pm (EDT). We will be reporting on that call following its conclusion.
Our previous stories on the NOFA Release, and the changing policy of the Administration in moving first toward two separate documents, and then toward the full consolidation, and program coordination between NTIA and RUS which we will see today:
Time For the Grownups: 8 Points For Understanding... (07/01/09)
Biden Expected to Release Funding Regs. (06/30/09)
USDA Releases Funding Guidelines, Strong Hints at NOFA Terms (06/12/09)
Broadband Stimulus Timeframe: USDA Confirms Separate and Simultaneous....
Obama's Federal Broadband Stimulus:.... (05/08/09) StimulatingBroadband.com