Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alert: Broadband Stim Electronic Grant Application System Appears to Reject Filings, Again 08/20/09 Boston - We have received anecdotal and scattered reports this afternoon that the Easygrants electronic grant application system supporting the Round I funding cycle of the total $7.2 billion "broadband stimulus" program, within the federal Recovery Act, has apparently reached peak capacity again, and is now rejecting at least some attempts by applicants to complete electronically filed "core applications".

We also have anecdotal reports of many successful electronic application uploads over the past 48 hours. As we have attempted to suggest, as in our Advisory of early this morning, we believe there is a plethora of variables a play here that only the federal agency officials and their contractor working on the
Easygrants system are able to fully answer.

An executive at one service provider attempting to file an electronic application today states that the listing of his proposed service area's census blocks appears to be what has caused his filing to be rejected twice.

In response, an employee of the NTIA-RUS jointly manged Helpdesk facility responded over e-mail, " If the character limit for the list of census blocks is insufficient to allow a complete list, we recommend condensing the list by expressing the list in ranges of census blocks (e.g., 600-605 instead of 600, 601, 602, 603, 604, 605). If this technique does not allow the list of census blocks to fit within the character limit, we recommend uploading the list into "Supplemental Information" on the Uploads page."

Could these reductions in uploaded data under brought the total application size under the recently announced 16.0 MB file size cap? Is there similar file size cap imposed by the system on a per page, or a per application question?

As we suggested to applicants in our Advisory of this morning: Any applicant that is finding his electronic application is still being rejected, should immediately document current status with the NTIA-RUS jointly managed Helpdesk via a phone call, and e-mail.

Document Everything

If you experience any continued system disruption impacting your ability to continue uploading your application(s) tonight and into the day on Thursday, we recommend that you take a moment and document for the NTIA-RUS Helpdesk the exact problem you encounter, and the specific impact it has on your effort.

E-mail the documentation to:

Call the Helpdesk

NTIA-RUS have added to the hours of its helpdesk resource. Live operators are now available 9 AM to 8 PM ET during the final days leading up to August 20.

Call the Helpdesk: (888) 861-5509.

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