Friday, September 25, 2009

Broadband Stimulus Round I Applicants: The Public Broadcasting System 09/25/09 The single most detailed reporting on the entry into the broadband stimulus funding first round by affiliates of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was published this week by, the "newspaper and website about public TV and radio in the United States."

While the broadband stim funding application for $22.8 million filed by the 22 stations comprising Florida Public Broadcasting, Inc. (online application summary) has been previously reported, the overall national strategy of PBS for community based broadband projects has not otherwise been described.

Written by Senior Editor Dru Sefton, the story itemizes all of the Round I funding applications submitted by PBS itself, for $8.7 Million (online application summary) and a plethora of its affiliates, several of which applied for funds individually.
Other station affiliates signed onto the PBS application as alliance partners.

PBS has, in turn, partnered with the Internet2 organization (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development) for a $2.14 Million application, in the Sustainable Broadband Adoption Category, to connect the PBS network operations center (NOC) in Virgina to Internet2. This proposed network connection (online application summary) will allow the 62,000 anchor institutions connected to the Internet2 research and educational network (REN) to access digital libraries of PBS content, and engage in interactive programming.

Sefton reports that PBS plans to launch two new initiatives should it receive the requesting federal funding: PBS Broadband Communities, and Broadband Education Outreach.

Our Take:
We believe that the effort by PBS and its affiliates to enter into the community broadband arena is a positive development that holds the possibility of providing partial answers to some of the most difficult questions facing the U.S. in the entire broadband arena.

We can't think of a better group to frame models for sustainable broadband adoption, educational television in the broadband / IP enabled world, and non-commercial content for the burgeoning new world of high capacity research and educational networks (RENs) which connect to community anchor institutions across the nation..

We highly recommend Ms. Sefton's article in, as the best documentation published to date on what PBS is doing in the broadband realm. We do so irrespective of some of the wacky statements of a reputed "broadband advocate" talking about some imagined cultural divide between the community-based and for-profit entities applying for broadband stim funds. We don't get this "Woodstock vs. Altamont" thing being talked about at all.
Link to full story on

Access goals hitch ride at light speed

Pubcasters apply for stimulus grants to develop broadband

Fiber optics used in broadband transmissionPubcasters joined more than 2,000 first-round applicants racing to pitch their broadband dreams for funding from the telecom piece of the government’s stimulus outlay.

They’re volunteering for the Obama administration’s push to extend broadband access to unserved and underserved communities. Among bids from pubcasters:

PBS seeks $8.7 million for a Broadband Communities initiative to expand its Digital Learning Library for schools, encourage public use of its video portal and establish broadband education outreach.

Florida Public Broadcasting requests $22.8 million for a statewide high-speed HELPS......

Link to full story on
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