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Saturday, October 24, 2009

NTIA: All States Filed Broadband Stimulus Funding Recommendations

StimulatingBroadband.com 10/24/09 San Francisco - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) yesterday stated for the first time that the chief executives of all states, territories, and the District of Columbia have filed recommendation letters with the agency suggesting how broadband stimulus funds should be expended in their jurisdictions.

Ms. Jessica Schafer, NTIA Press Secretary, responded Friday afternoon with an affirmative "Yes" to our written question, "Have all states, territories, and DC filed recommendation communications with NTIA, if not which states, territories, and DC have not filed to date?"

We confirmed Ms. Schafer's written statement in a telephone interview with her early Friday evening, Washington time. Ms. Schafer's statement and confirmation with this publication is the first official word from NTIA that all states filed their respective project recommendation documents with the federal agency by the deadline of last week.

States Given October 14 Deadline
Governors' offices and state broadband program officials around the nation were given a deadline of last Wednesday, October 14, to advise the NTIA, a division of the of the U.S. Department of Commerce, of their recommendations for project funding under Round I of the federal broadband stimulus program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Review Process Changed
Under rules promulgated in July by NTIA, governors were given the option of making such recommendations for proposed projects in their respective states and territories under NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). On September 18, in an announcement that surprised many state officials, NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling informed the states, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia that the procedures for state review outlined in regulations in July had been changed.

The total filed universe of upwards of 2,200 funding applications were transmitted the governors' offices around the nation without prior review, ranking, or selection for basic compliance with eligibility standards by NTIA and its team of voluntary reviewers, as had initially been established in the regulations issued in July.

21 State Documents Posted to Date
The task of informing recommended applicants has been left by the federal agency to the various states. To date, StimulatingBroadband.com has secured from state governors' offices, and from state broadband programs, 21 recommendation documents sent to NTIA. We have posted all such documents we have been able to secure on our corporate site (see: Resources, below). We are continuing to work with the remaining states to secure and post an entire set of filed documents.

In what appears to be the single instance of such a determination, we reported on October 19 that the Administration of Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) has stated that the Governor's recommendation filing to NTIA "is not a public document."

Resources: StimulatingBroadband.com's State - NTIA Filings
1. The recommendation filings to NTIA of the 21 states which we have secured to will be posted via our corporate site, here.

2. Read all of our state filing stories here: Round I Recommendations to NTIA
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