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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Senator Kerry Applauds Broadband Stimulus Award for Boston

Centers Will Ensure Low Income Communities Will Have Expanded, Better Broadband Access

Office of Sen. John F. Kerry via StimulatingBroadband.com 12/17/09 Boston - Massachusetts Senators John Kerry and Paul Kirk, and Congressmen Edward Markey, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch, together with Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino today announced that the City of Boston will receive $1,906,439 from the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) initiative.

In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Congress recognized the need to promote equal access and opportunity for all Americans, no matter where they live. In particular, the BTOP prioritized three categories of projects: broadband infrastructure in unserved or underserved areas, public computing centers and sustainable broadband adoption projects, as key to ensuring that no one is left behind.

Broadband adoption depends on the underserved residents of the city having ready access to computers and the basic training. However, the stark reality is that many Boston citizens do not have home computers. This new investment will fund a coordinated project among three community anchors to provide upgraded and expanded hardware, software, and public computing training in 26 public libraries, 11 public housing developments, and 16 Centers for Youth and Families in Boston.

"In Boston, 80% of public school kids have no broadband service at home in large part because their parents cannot afford it, and that's why we pushed like hell to invest in broadband deployment through the stimulus bill. The grants the city is receiving today will make it possible for kids to go to a nearby library or community center and access the same technology that kids in more privileged suburbs receive without thinking twice," said Senator Kerry.

"While we will continue to push for the agencies to move the money quickly and give all Massachusetts applicants a fair hearing, I am extremely pleased to see that stimulus funds are now flowing. And they are flowing to communities around the country to connect the hard to reach to broadband services and everything those services make possible."

"The initial awards announced today maximize the bang for the buck by focusing on establishing either middle mile connections or public computing centers that will act as hubs lighting up whole communities with broadband capabilities they otherwise would not have or would not be able to tap in to. Boston earned one of these initial grants for $1.9 million. The money will make it possible for libraries, public housing communities, and community centers to greatly expand broadband access for job hunters, kids seeking an education, immigrants to work on their English language skills and access Spanish language news, and numerous other life enhancing activities," concluded the senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

“Affordable, dependable broadband for Boston is essential in today’s world,” said Senator Paul G. Kirk, Jr. “Access to high speed internet is an absolute necessity for education and for business. This federal grant is an important step in seeing that families and firms in Boston will have the high-speed internet access they need and deserve.”

“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards bridging the digital divide that separates many low-income residents of our state from the technology they need to access educational and job opportunities. This funding is targeted where the digital divide has been the widest - at public housing sites, community centers, and libraries. There, those who need it most--including people with disabilities, seniors, students and others--will now be able to participate in a range of programs vital for success in the 21st century economy. Congratulations to Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, Senators Kerry and Kirk and our entire congressional delegation for working together to address these important issues,” said Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

“The stimulus bill is about putting people to work,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “Sustaining workforce development in the 21st century means creating access to computers and training individuals on how to use them. I applaud the NTIA for this decision and congratulate the City of Boston.”

“This is one way of reducing the much higher unemployment rate among minority and underserved communities. By improving computer competency among underserved populations we can create a better-educated work force, one that is better-prepared for this increasingly knowledge-based economy,” Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said.

“Boston’s award will give residents critical access to computers and new training and address digital inclusion challenges for citizens of all ages,” said Governor Patrick. “In coordination with the City’s other pending applications, these recovery funds promise to make Boston a national leader and fulfill President Obama and Congress’ goal of expanding opportunity by expanding broadband. I look forward to prompt and favorable action on our applications for Western Massachusetts and the Cape, so that we can deliver broadband’s economic, educational and public safety benefits to all of our unserved and underserved communities.”

“This grant award is wonderful news for the City of Boston and is once again proof that we are leading the way not only in applying for and getting crucial ARRA funding, but are doing so to further our progressive agenda of spreading innovative technology throughout the city,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino.

“We will continue to be highly competitive in our ongoing pursuit of ARRA funding to bring technology into all of Boston’s underserved homes. I want to thank Senators John Kerry, Senator Paul Kirk, Governor Deval Patrick and Congressmen Edward Markey, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch for their continued support in obtaining this funding," concluded Boston's chief executive, recently reelected to an fifth term in office.

The City has pledged to help other cities that may be interested in its approach to digital inclusion and public safety.
StimulatingBroadband.com

The Dahlonega Nugget - BREAKING NEWS: Biden unveils local broadband blueprint

The Dahlonega Nugget via StimulatingBroadband.com 12/17/09 Dawsonville (GA) - by Wayne Knuckles, Editor and Publisher, The Dahlonega Nugget - Vice President Joe Biden put north Georgia in the national spotlight Thursday with an appearance at a Dawsonville manufacturing facility to announce the first funding awards from the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program approved by Congress in February.

Biden said Lumpkin County, Dawson County and other members of a consortium known at the North Georgia Network Cooperative will greatly benefit from the $33 million in stimulus funds that have been awarded for a project to create a state-of-the-art fiber optics network that will serve as the high-capacity Internet backbone for a 12-county north Georgia region.

"New broadband access means more capacity and better reliability in rural areas and underserved urban communities around the country. Businesses will be able to improve their customer service and better compete around the world," said Biden.

"This is what the Recovery Act is all about - sparking new growth, tapping into the ingenuity of the American people and giving folks the tools they need to help build a new economy in the 21st-century."

Gov. Sonny Perdue accompanied the vice president to Dawsonville. The project has also been awarded a grant of $2.5 million from the OneGeorgia Authority.

“Broadband is the new dial tone of the 21st century,” Gov. Perdue said. “Internet access is as important to our communications infrastructure today as reliable telephone service was a century ago. Creating an advanced network will promote economic development, expand educational opportunities and improve the availability and efficiency of government services.”

The estimated $42 million project will created a 260-mile regional fiber optic ring that local officials say is vital to attracting new jobs and industry to the region.

The project has the potential to create 837 direct jobs during the construction phase, but local officials say that may be the tip of the iceberg compared to the thousands of potential jobs that the availability of high-capacity Internet in the region could stimulate. It will take an estimated three years from the start of construction to complete.

The project grew out of a realization by Bruce Abraham, executive director of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, in late 2007 that a lack of high-capacity Internet was crippling the region's ability to economic development. The Development Authority authorized Abraham to pursue the project, which grew into a partnership with Dawson, Union and White counties to seek a $240,000 OneGeorgia grant to determine the initial feasibility of the the proposed project.

North Georgia College & State University and Forsyth County, while not eligible for OneGeorgia funds, agreed to invest $4,800 each to partner in the venture. Habersham Electric Membership Cooperative and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC also signed on to become members of what came to be called the North Georgia Network Cooperative.

The local grant was part of a total of $182 million in funding for 18 broadband projects in 17 states announced by Biden's office Thursday. The vice president's appearance in Dawsonville for Thursday's announcements is an indication the Obama administration is not playing politics with the economic stimulus funds approved by Congress, according to a spokesman.

"North Georgia is not a particularly blue hue. It's a beautiful place," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was quoted as telling reporters at a Wednesday briefing by the Web site Politico.com. Counties impacted by the local broadband initiative include Union, Towns, Rabun, Habersham, White, Lumpkin, Dawson and Forsyth.

See the next edition of The Dahlonega Nugget for complete coverage of this breaking news story.


This content is Copyright 2009 by The Dahlonega Nugget, and used with permission under agreement with StimulatingBroadband.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be broadcast, published, rewritten or redistributed without written permission of The Dahlonega Nugget.

Photo Credit: Staff Photo by Matt Aiken, The Dahlonega Nugget

Biden Announces 18 Broadband Stimulus Project Awards

White House press release via StimulatingBroadband.com 12-17-09 - DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Vice President Biden today kicked off $7.2 billion in Recovery Act broadband grant and loan programs, of which $2 billion will be made available on a rolling basis over the next 75 days to bring high-speed Internet to communities that currently have little or no access to the technology.

Vice President Joe Biden at Impulse Manufacturing, Dawsonville, GA
At an event at Impulse Manufacturing in Dawsonville, Georgia, with Governor Sonny Perdue (R-GA), he announced an initial $183 million investment in eighteen broadband projects benefiting seventeen states which has already been matched by over $46 million in public and private sector capital. The awards are not only expected to provide initial job opportunities in infrastructure and manufacturing, but help bridge the digital divide and boost economic development for communities held back by limited or no access to the technology.

“New broadband access means more capacity and better reliability in rural areas and underserved urban communities around the country. Businesses will be able to improve their customer service and better compete around the world,” said Vice President Biden. “This is what the Recovery Act is all about – sparking new growth, tapping into the ingenuity of the American people and giving folks the tools they need to help build a new economy in the 21st-century.”

The projects receiving funds today are the first in the $7.2 billion program – $4.7 billion through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and $2.5 through the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) – being implemented under the Recovery Act to expand broadband access and adoption across the country.

The awards are designed to help underserved – and often hard-hit – communities overcome the distance and technology barrier by expanding connectivity between educational institutions, enabling remote medical consultations and attracting new businesses – as well as the jobs that come with them. They are part of an over $100 billion investment in science, technology and innovation the Administration is making through the Recovery Act to lay a new foundation for economic growth.


“Broadband is the new dial tone of the 21st-century,” said Governor Perdue. “Internet access is as important to our communications infrastructure today as reliable telephone service was a century ago. Creating an advanced network will promote economic development, expand educational opportunities and improve the availability and efficiency of government services.”

The National Economic Council today released a report, “Recovery Act Investment in Broadband: Leveraging Federal Dollars to Create Jobs and Connect America,” which found that Recovery Act investments in broadband will create tens of thousands of jobs in the near term and expand opportunities and economic development in communities that would otherwise be left behind in the new knowledge-based economy.

As part of today’s announcement, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke traveled to Bangor, Maine, where he announced $25.4 million in grants to build broadband infrastructure throughout rural and disadvantaged portions of parts of the state. On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Ohio to discuss how a $2.4 million broadband award will help boost economic development in the region and connect the local community to the smart energy grid.

"Expanding high-speed Internet access is critical to improving America’s economic competitiveness," said Secretary Locke. "Unless we use the 21st-century tools at our disposal, America will never be as connected as it could be. And that connection is crucial for our economic future."

“These broadband investments continue the Obama Administration’s efforts to create jobs, expand economic opportunities and build a stronger rural America,” said Secretary Vilsack. “We must take steps to keep the institutions that are the heart and soul of our communities strong, and that is why many of these grants and loans support anchor institutions – such as libraries, public buildings and community centers – that are necessary for the viability of rural communities.”

Four different types of awards were made today:
  • Middle Mile Awards – $121.6 million to build and improve connections to communities lacking sufficient broadband access.

  • Last Mile Awards – $51.4 million to connect end users like homes, hospitals and schools to their community’s broadband infrastructure (the middle mile).

  • Public Computing – $7.3 million to expand computer center capacity for public use in libraries, community colleges and other public venues. 

  • Sustainable Adoption – $2.4 million to fund innovative projects that promote broadband demand with population groups where the technology has traditionally been underutilized.
The following Middle Mile awards were made through the Department of Commerce:

GEORGIA: North Georgia Network Cooperative, Inc., $33.5 million grant with an additional $8.8 million in matching funds to deploy a 260-mile regional fiber-optic ring to deliver gigabit broadband speeds, reliability, affordability, and abundant interconnection points for last mile service in the North Georgia foothills.

MAINE: Biddeford Internet Corp. (d.b.a. GWI), $25.4 million grant with an additional $6.4 million in matching funds to build a 1,100-mile open access fiber-optic network extending to the most rural and disadvantaged areas of the state of Maine, from the Saint John Valley in the north, to the rocky coastline of downeast Maine, to the mountainous regions of western Maine.

NEW YORK: ION Hold Co., LLC, $39.7 million grant with an additional $9.9 million in matching funds to build 10 new segments of fiber-optic, middle mile broadband infrastructure, serving more than 70 rural communities in upstate New York and parts of Pennsylvania and Vermont.
(Editor's Note: ION Hold Co., LLC is a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network, Inc., NASDAQ: ATNI).

SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota Network, LLC, $20.6 million grant with an additional $5.1 million in matching funds to add 140 miles of backbone network and 219 miles of middle mile spurs to existing network, enabling the delivery of at least 10 Mbps service to more than 220 existing anchor institution customers in rural and underserved areas of the state.

The following Public Computer Center awards were made through the Department of Commerce:

ARIZONA: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, $1.3 million grant with matching funds of $320,000 to enhance existing facilities in more than 80 public libraries throughout the state. The project expects to deploy more than 1,000 computers to meet growing demand.

MASSACHUSETTS: City of Boston, $1.9 million grant with matching funds of $477,000 to expand computer and Internet capacity at the city’s main library and 25 branches, 16 community centers, and 11 public housing sites.

MINNESOTA: Regents of the University of Minnesota, $2.9 million grant with matching funds of $741,000 to enhance broadband awareness and use for residents in four federally-designated poverty zones in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

WASHINGTON: The Inland Northwest Community Access Network (Tincan), $1.3 million grant with matching funds of $753,000 to establish three new public computer centers and expand 14 existing centers throughout Spokane’s poorest neighborhoods to serve more than 5,000 additional users per week.

The following Sustainable Broadband Adoption awards were made through the Department of Commerce:

NEW MEXICO: New Mexico State Library, $1.5 million grant with an additional $591,000 in matching funds to increase broadband adoption and promote computer literacy and Internet use among vulnerable populations, Hispanic and Native American users, small businesses, and entrepreneurs through trainings and outreach statewide.

WASHINGTON: The Inland Northwest Community Access Network, $981,000 grant with an additional $728,000 in matching funds to increase broadband adoption through basic and advanced computer skill training, as well as community-based outreach campaigns to highlight the benefits of broadband for vulnerable populations in Spokane.

The following Last Mile and Middle Mile awards were made today through the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

ALASKA: Anchorage, Rivada Sea Lion, LLC, $25.3 million grant with $6.4 million of leveraged funds; 4G high-speed broadband internet service availability to more than 9,000 unserved locations in a 90,000 square mile area where these Southwestern Alaska inhabitants are living at subsistence level.

HAWAII: Big Island Broadband/Aloha Broadband, Inc., $106,503 loan with matching funds of $87,405 to bring broadband services to an unserved area in the northern part of the islands where there are nearly 600 residents and businesses.

COLORADO/NEBRASKA: Peetz, Colorado, Peetz Cooperative Telephone Co., $1.5 million grant; expansion of existing infrastructure utilizing a combination of technologies. This project will make broadband service available to as many as 550 locations in the service area.

MICHIGAN: The Chatham Telephone Company, $8.6 million grant to bring high speed DSL broadband service to remote, unserved businesses and households within its rural territory; service that is comparable to the DSL service provided in its more populated areas.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Bretton Woods, The Bretton Woods Telephone Company, $985,000 grant for 20 Mbps two-way broadband service to all potential customers and stimulate tourism in the area to substantially improve the local economy. This Fiber to The Premise service will be available to more than 400 locations.

NEW YORK: Potsdam, Slic Network Solutions (Nicholville Telephone) a grant of $4.3 million and loan of $1.1 million for a 136-mile fiber optic network reaching into five towns in rural Franklin County. This all-fiber network will deliver broadband voice, and IPTV services to remote rural areas. The network will offer service to more than 6,500 locations.

OHIO: North Central Ohio Rural Fiber Optic Network, Consolidated Electric Cooperative, $1,034,413 grant and $1,399,499 loan; and matching funds of $1,225,000. The funding is integral to a smart grid initiative and broadband service based on an open-connectivity fiber optic backbone network.

OKLAHOMA: Southeast Oklahoma, The Pine Telephone Company, $9.5 grant with an additional $4.6 million in private funds to provide services to an entirely remote, rural, unserved and severely economically disadvantaged community.

Topic Resources at StimulatingBroadband on Scribd:

1. Folder: Awards of 12-17-2009

2. Press Release: "Vice President Biden Kicks Off $7.2 Billion Recovery Act Broadband Program"


3. Press Release: "Background on the Vice President's Recovery Act Announcement"

4. Executive Office of the President: "Recovery Act Investments in Broadband"


StimulatingBroadband.com

Consultancy Civitium Helps North Georgia Network Cooperative Land $33 Million Broadband Stimulus Award

Fiber Optic Project Becomes Flagship for First Awards in the $7.2B Broadband Stimulus Program

StimulatingBroadband.com 12/17/09 San Francisco - One of the keys to success behind the featured award to be announced this morning by Vice President Joseph Biden of a $33 million federal grant award to the North Georgia Network Cooperative (NGN) today is a Georgia based consulting firm skilled in broadband public - private partnerships.

Under the direction of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, Ga., Civitium, LLC of Alpharetta, GA led the development of the project from inception through feasibility, network design, organizational structure, financial planning and grant preparation.

Civitium, a specialized consulting firm focused on the planning and management of next‐generation broadband networks, worked with leaders throughout north Georgia since early 2008 to develop and mature the project. The firm also supported NGN during an intense due diligence phase with the NTIA.

“This project has the potential to transform north Georgia’s economic development potential,” said Greg Richardson, founder and managing partner for Civitium, stated in a company press release of today. “We are honored to have played a part in helping NGN reach this important milestone.”

Civitium’s skill in the public, private and nonprofit broadband sectors helped produce a collaborative model that leverages the strengths of numerous stakeholders. The network relies on the resources of local electric utilities for customer service and network operations and incorporates an advisory board of economic development and public benefit organizations. The project is highly efficient, making use of existing fiber where available.


Bruce Abraham, executive director of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, the lead public agency for the project, stated, “We couldn’t have reached this point without the advice and assistance of the Civitium team. Their passion, commitment, expertise and problem‐solving ability is unparalleled in my 20 plus years of experience.”

The NGN network will traverse twelve counties in north Georgia, providing a backbone that directly connects to the southeast’s largest Internet exchange in Atlanta. The network will serve dozens of anchor institutions along this backbone, including public schools, local governments, technical colleges, large businesses, healthcare providers
and other organizations with high‐bandwidth needs.

In addition, it will offer advanced fiber‐to‐the‐home services in key underserved areas. Finally, the network will adhere to so‐called open access principles, insuring that any cable, DSL, or wireless operator will be able to interconnect and extend their own services throughout the region.


About Civitium
Civitium provides in‐depth consulting for planning, deploying, and managing next generation fiber optic and wireless broadband networks. Civitium’s clients – which include local exchange carriers, cellular operators, government agencies, public safety agencies, electric utilities, cooperatives, and not for profits. StimulatingBroadband.com

NTIA's Strickling: "300 - 400" Broadband Stimulus Applications Now in Due Diligence Phase

StimulatingBroadband.com 12/17/09 San Francisco - Lawrence E. Strickling, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) yesterday stated that "300 to 400" project applications for broadband stimulus funding are now being reviewed for grant and loan awards in the 'due diligence phase' of the federal government's application review process.

This is the first time a federal official has made a direct statement estimating how many applications are in the final evaluation pipeline as agencies scramble to issue funding Round I awards by an unspecified time in February 2010.

Administrator Strickling gave that answer to a direct question asked by StimulatingBroadband.com during a media conference call with officials of the Obama Administration convened yesterday to discuss today's announcement of the first 18 broadband stimulus funding awards. We posed the question, "How many total project applications have been moved to the due diligence phase of the review process from among the approximate 2,200 applications filed in August?"

Today's awards, representing $182 million from an expected 'total program spend' of $12 - $13 billion, are for projects in the entire group of nearly 2,200 applications filed by the final deadline of this past August 20th. The balance between the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus monies appropriated by Congress in the Recovery Act and the estimated total dollar value to be expended by the program is attributable to the significant loan leverage capacity managed by the
Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. RUS is NTIA's sister agency co-managing the broadband program.

Under rules issued by the 2 agencies, review of of each application is slated to go through a two tiered process. Phase II, or the due diligence phase of the process, is a series of detailed investigations of specific applications winnowed down from the initial universe of all project funding requests. Included in the due diligence phase is the evaluation by the agencies of the Public Notice Filings issued by incumbent telecommunications carriers arguing that they already are providing broadband services in an applicant's "proposed service area."

Unknown at this time is if the "300 to 400" number means that some 1,800 applications have been rejected to date, or if an even higher number will be passed into the due diligence phase. We have asked agency officials for clarification about the application processing numbers as stated by Mr. Strickling yesterday, and will report answers as we receive them. StimulatingBroadband.com

Obama Administration Begins Broadband Stimulus Investments

StimulatingBroadband.com 11/17/09 San Francisco - The Obama Administration this morning will announce the award of broadband stimulus grant and loan funding for 18 projects budgeted at a total of $229 million, including local match funds. Federal stimulus funds equal $182 million within this larger project total.



StimulatingBroadband.com yesterday broke the project award announcement story nationally, based on our sources within government and industry in Georgia, where Vice President Joseph R. Biden will this morning announce details of all 18 projects. The Vice President's prepared remarks have not been released by the White House as of this posting. We will carry them here as soon as they are issued.



The 18 projects, spread across 17 states, and all funded by Round I of the total $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program within the Recovery Act (ARRA), will be announced in 2 other separate venues by Administration officials, and in a series of previously embargoed documents slated to begin being released now, at 6:00 AM (ET) today. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will announce grant and loan awards at a press event in Ohio, while Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will to the same at a scheduled stop in Maine.



The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will fund 10 of the announced projects valued at total project costs of $163 million, with $129 million in federal funds. The Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will fund 8 programs with total project costs of $66 million, leveraging $53.178 million of federal stimulus monies.



Of the 18 projects to be announced this morning, 7 are highlighted in a 16 page report (below) issued yesterday by the National Economic Council of the Executive Office of the President. The report, described in a telephone conference of yesterday was embargoed until this morning.





Topic Resources at StimulatingBroadband on Scribd:



1. Folder: Awards of 12-17-2009



2. Press Release: "Background on the Vice President's Recovery Act Announcement"



3. Executive Office of the President: "Recovery Act Investments in Broadband"




StimulatingBroadband.com

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Biden to Announce First Broadband Stimulus Awards Tomorrow in Georgia

An Exclusive Breaking News Report from StimulatingBroadband.com
StimulatingBroadband.com 12/16/09 San Francisco - Vice President Joseph R. Biden will announce the first grant and loan awards funded by the broadband stimulus program of the federal Recovery Act tomorrow, December 17, in the rural town of Dawsonville, Georgia.

StimulatingBroadband.com has today confirmed reports initially received yesterday that the Obama Administration will use a venue in rural Georgia to make the announcement of the first funding awards from the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program.

The office of the Vice President has not announced Mr. Biden's travel schedule for tomorrow, as of this posting. We are however confirming that the initial reports we have had now for 24 hours have been confirmed by confidential sources in government and the communications industry in Georgia.


View StimultingBroadband.com Locations in a larger map

This morning The Dahlongea Nugget, the weekly newspaper published from Dahlongea, Georgia, broke the story that the Vice President will be traveling to Dawsonville to "
discuss how Recovery Act investments are improving communities and creating jobs in Georgia and rural areas across the country."

StimulatingBroadband.com will be updating this story as information becomes available.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Breaking News: NTIA Working to Fix Broadband Stimulus Public Comment Site

StimulatingBroadband.com 12/01/09 Boston - The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has confirmed that it is now working to resolve a series of technical issues which emerged yesterday with the federal agency's online site used to collect public comments for the new funding round of the broadband stimulus program of the Recovery Act.

As StimulatingBroadband.com reported last evening, the site has generated a significant level technical problems to the point that many filed comments are garbled and illegible, and some applicants have not seen their filed comments posted to date.

In an email update received this afternoon form the lead public affairs spokesperson at NTIA, the agency has announced that the online site has become plagued with "coding issues," which federal employees and (we believe) retained contractors are now working to resolve. The statement received this afternoon is as follows:

"We are working to resolve certain coding issues with the RFI comment page which caused some commenters’ attachments to appear illegible. And, we are taking the steps necessary to ensure that everyone’s comments are properly accounted for and displayed," Jessica Schafer, Director of Media Relations, NTIA, U.S. Department of Commerce.
StimulatingBroadband.com

Stimulating Global Broadband: Zhone’s EFM Gear Selected by UK Provider Updata for Public Sector Broadband Initiatives

Zhone Press Release via StimulatingBroadband.com Oakland, CA — 12/01/09 Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZHNE), a global leader in network access solutions, announced today that Updata has selected Zhone’s EFM platforms to help meet government sponsored broadband initiatives throughout the UK.

Updata designs, builds and manages carrier-class networks for UK public sector institutions including government, healthcare and education. Zhone’s EFM platform breadth and ease of management were cited by Updata as winning factors in the selection criteria.
More economical for end-consumers than E1 and fiber, EFM services are ideal for customers who need between 2 Mbps and 20 Mbps symmetric service.

As a technology bridge to fiber, Updata foresees strong EFM demand in its business for the next five years. Updata provisions fiber and ADSL2+ services in addition to EFM.
“Updata has experienced explosive growth, doubling its revenues over last year with EFM being core to its business,” said Mike Scheck, Zhone’s VP of International Sales.

“For an unbundled local loop carrier, Zhone equipment provides numerous advantages ranging from multi-vendor interoperability, to superior port density.”


“Our experience with Zhone’s EFM platforms has been extremely positive and we’ve found the solutions easy to support, configure and manage,” said George Cowan, Head of Operations for Updata. “Our customers benefit from the savings innate to EFM technology, compounded by the sizeable savings in deployment and ongoing management costs associated specifically with Zhone equipment.”

Zhone's EFM EtherXtendTM product portfolio is the largest in the industry, offering feature and interface combinations to suit the full spectrum of customer requirements, from low-cost plug-and-play bridges for mass deployments, to sophisticated service intelligence for carrier and wholesale Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Zhone’s EtherXtend line, together with Zhone’s multi-service access platforms (MSAPs) and SLMS system software provides network operators enhanced network agility and fast efficient provisioning of feature-rich network services.

About Updata Updata creates, implements and manages secure, cost-effective high-capacity broadband networks for public sector organizations. Updata’s highly skilled network architects have deep experience in all major physical network layers and data transmission mediums. Updata networks are designed and delivered with precision and managed to exacting standards. Updata Infrastructure UK Ltd. was incorporated in 2001. Updata is privately owned with headquarters based in Reigate, UK.

About Zhone Technologies — Access for a Converging World Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZHNE) is a global leader in multi-service access solutions, serving more than 700 of the world's most innovative network operators.

The company offers the industry's only fully-integrated portfolio of MSAP, FTTx, EFM and Wi-Fi access technologies, improving network agility and reducing the costs of delivering the full spectrum of access services, including residential and business broadband, VoIP, and High-Definition IPTV — over copper, fiber, and wireless.
Zhone is headquartered in California, and its MSAP products are all manufactured in the USA, in a facility that is emission, waste-water, and CFC free.





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