First Maps of Specific "Service Area" Communities and Their Underlying Census Blocks, as Proposed by Funding Applicants
(Editor's Note: This story was posted on 09/14/09 at 6:02 PM. We updated at 9:16 PM as USDA Media Relations told us they were working to answer our questions about the data presented. Updates will follow in new postings. New posting of 09/15:Broadband Stimulus Funding Applicants: This Is How the Incumbents Get to Push Back )
StimulatingBroadband.com 09/14/09 Who is proposing what, and exactly where are they proposing it, for federally subsidized broadband projects around the nation? That question began to be at least partially answered today, with a little seen posting on a federal website.
The searchable database posted today, via the USDA-RUS site: here.
We urge caution in the use of the maps and underlying data posted to date. Our inspection of the data indicates that it is not a full set of the applications posted on September 9, on the federal site BroadbandUSA.gov. We believe the posted data, with applicable maps, is a 'work in progress,' and is not a definitive representation of the total of 2,200+ applications filed.
As of 9:02 this evening the media relations office of RUS informed us it is working to clarify for StimulatingBroadband.com the derivation of the posted applications.
The Telecommunications Program of Rural Utilities Service (RUS) division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this afternoon posted maps and demographic data of the "service areas" proposed by applicants that filed grant or loan applications for funding within the first tranche of monies (Round I) from the federal broadband stimulus program.
Today's information, although posted on a publicly accessible federal site, is difficult to find and is not cross posted to the leading government sites supporting the program.
Duplicate postings or other references at either the BroadbandUSA.gov site -- jointly maintained by RUS and its sister "broadband stim" program agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) -- or NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) site have not occurred to date.
No explanation has been posted of precisely what the derivation is of the application sets listed in the online database with their applicable underlying census blocks, census communities, and mapped service areas.
Late last week, a media affairs representative of RUS told us, iterating previous statements, that application mapping would be published on federal sites "later this month."
The 2 agencies, charged by Congress to administer the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus programs within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), have since late June used BroadbandUSA.gov as the portal for all announcements of regulations, filing deadlines, workshops, and the like as the program has rolled out into its current Round I funding phase. StimulatingBroadband.com