Thursday, April 1, 2010

Commerce Department Awards $8 Million Broadband Stimulus Grant for Guam and Marianas 04/01/2010 San Francisco - The U.S. Commerce Department continues to dribble out grant awards in Round I of the federal broadband stimulus program, now beginning its seventh calendar month after the application deadline of August 2009.

This afternoon Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced a grant to fund a proposed hybrid fiber and wireless middle mile project for the U.S. Pacific territories of Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. The grant award was announced today for $8.0 million, and was applied for at the sum of $8,039,791.

Island Telecommunications and Engineering (IT&E) is the grant applicant and service provider proposing to build out the new network facilities. IT&E is one of several local exchange carriers (LECs) serving the islands, and the dominant wireless provider on Guam and the Marianas. The company also operates a growing call center business in the territories.

According to the a press release issued today by NTIA, the federal grant will support the carrier's "plans to bring the first high-capacity broadband services to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. In addition to upgrading existing network infrastructure, IT&E plans to replace the existing inter-island transmission system using fiber, 3G wireless, and WiMax technology. The speed of the planned network will enable government agencies, schools, and businesses in these remote island locations to benefit from videoconferencing and other advanced broadband capabilities."

"The project is expected to directly connect more than 400 community institutions to the broadband network, including community colleges, K-12 schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, and public-safety organizations," stated the release.
The Broadband Stimulus PipelineSM – Award # 140
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