The National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) has posted information about Round 1 Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) applications for Sustainable Broadband Adoption, Public Computer Centers, and Middle Mile Infrastructure. It lists which applications have been awarded and which are still pending. Pending applications are in due diligence review, but are not guaranteed to be funded. Applications that are not on this list have been denied. The status of Last Mile Infrastructure projects are updated regularly in the Applications Database at BroadbandUSA.gov.
With the posting of this list, NTIA is also denying any requests to extend the Round 2 deadline. Round 2 applications still must be filed by March 15th. NTIA strongly encourages Round 2 applicants to review this list and use the information when developing project service areas. Since duplicate funding is prohibited, any Round 2 applications that cover an area that was already funded in Round 1 will be automatically disqualified.
See the report for more details and the status list of applications.
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has posted a FAQ for Round 2 of the Broadband Initiatives Program. Go to the BroadbandUSA FAQ page and click on the RUS BIP FAQ.
Two bills have been filed in the Maryland General Assembly dealing with pensions.
- SB 959 – Senator Miller has filed the same bill as last year. This bill would push a portion of the teacher pensions back on the counties.
- HB 1374 – This bill would allow state employees to voluntarily leave the state pension system for a joint contribution system modeled after private industry.
Both bills are unlikely to make progress this year because it is an election year. The counties and the school systems, as well as libraries, are monitoring these bills closely.
For more details, including the text of the bills, search for the bill number on the Maryland General Assembly’s web site.
The ALA Washington Office is offering another webinar on Thursday, February 25th to share information on developing a successful Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) application. See the District Dispatch posting for details and how to register.
Maryland Library Legislative Day has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 17th. The plans will be similar to that of the original event. The Virtual Maryland Library Legislative Day will also kick off at that time. Details will be shared as they become available. (The original event was canceled due to inclement weather.)
During these very challenging financial times, it is important to make our presence felt, thank our representatives for their support and talk about what we have been doing in their home districts to help their constituents. We hope that members of the library community will be able to participate.
The National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) have posted updated FAQs for Round 2 of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). To see the documents, go to the BroadbandUSA FAQ page and click on the FAQ for each of the programs.
The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) has completed summaries of four successful library broadband stimulus applications from the first round. They are intended to serve as a guide for round two applicants. For more information, including a link to the summaries, please see the District Dispatch posting.