Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Broadband Stimulus Pipeline: USDA Says All Awards Will Be Issued by March 15 03/02/2010 San Francisco - The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce all of its broadband stimulus Round I awards by March 15.   Additionally, the agency is today stating that "more than 1,000 second opportunity letters have gone out."

In an email of today, RUS authorized spokesperson Mr. Bart Kendrick responded to written questions issued by to RUS and its sister agency managing the broadband stimulus program, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

We had noted for both agencies that each had made separate public statements about the award and rejection scheduling for Round I of the broadband stimulus program to the effect that Sunday, February 28 had been the target date for release of all awards from the first funding round.

Our questions sent to Mr. Kendrick are reproduced below, with his responses in red italics:

1. Q.: As today is March 1, and both RUS and NTIA had publically stated in the past that both agencies would work to release all broadband stimulus awards and rejections by this date, can you tell us what the present schedule, and/.or target date, is for RUS to announce the remaining Round I awards?

More than 1,000 second opportunity letters have gone out.  All  the Round 1 awards will made by  March 15, 2010.

2. Q.: Can you give an estimate, and/or a specific number, as to how many Round I applications remain under review in the program?

There are just a handful of applicants still in step two review and these will be concluded shortly.

The term "second opportunity letters," used by Mr. Kendrick and his colleagues are otherwise called rejection letters by Round I applicants, and by most of us covering the program.

To date we have not received a reply from NTIA to our specific and simultaneous questions issued to both agencies early evening yesterday, Washington time.  NTIA did issue an updated pipeline document earlier today which we are now reviewing against our database derived from federal sources, our crowd sourcing efforts, and reports to us from the field. 
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