Posts Tagged 'Stimulus'

BTOP funding at risk

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is facing a funding shortfall that may put at risk some of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funds that have already been awarded.  The American Library Association (ALA) has written a letter of concern to the Congressional leadership.  For more details, including a link to the letters, please see the District Dispatch posting.

RUS posts project summaries for all BIP awards

Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has posted a list of project summaries for all of the Last Mile, Middle Mile, and Satellite awards made under the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).

Final BTOP Awards announced

Yesterday, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announced the final Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) awards.  See the press release for more information and a list of recipients.

USDA awards funds to 129 rural libraries in 30 states

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced in a press release on Friday that libraries in 129 rural communities from 30 states were awarded funding through the Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The $15 million of funding is supplemented by $10.2 million from other sources.  A combination of grants and loans will be used to build and enhance libraries in a variety of ways, including the renovation and expansion of buildings and the purchase of furniture and equipment.  A complete list of library recipients is also available.  (None of the libraries are in Maryland.)

Maryland receives BTOP grant to expand broadband Internet access

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced on Friday that the Maryland Department of Technology was awarded $115.2 million in stimulus funds in the second round of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).  The funds will be used to built a high-speed infrastructure through all 23 counties and Baltimore City and provide broadband service to many anchor institutions, including schools and libraries.  For more information, please see the press release from the US Department of Commerce.

NTIA announces more BTOP recipients

The National Telecommunication Information Administration (NTIA) has announced additional recipients of Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funds.  The list includes some libraries, but no recipients from Maryland.  See the press release at for more details.  NTIA plans to make all BTOP awards by September 30th.

RUS posts Satellite, Rural Library and Technical Assistance Application Directory

Due to numerous requests, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) posted a directory of all applications received in the second round for the Satellite, Rural Library and Technical Assistance programs.

Educator Jobs bill passes in House, goes to president for signature

HR 1586, the Educator jobs bill has passed.  Yesterday the House passed the Senate’s amendments and now the bill will go to President Obama for signature.  This will bring $26 million in aid to states to re-hire and/or retain educators and other government workers, including school librarians.  However, to offset this spending, some money was rescinded from other programs, including the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).  All of Maryland’s representatives voted for the bill, except Bartlett.

For more information, please see the District Dispatch posting.

–Natalie

Educator jobs bill passes in Senate; BTOP funding may be cut

Today the Senate passed the Educator jobs bill to provide $10 billion to retain or hire K-12 educators, including school librarians.  This is the good news!

The downside is that in order to fund this, the Senate agreed to reduce spending in other areas.  Last year’s stimulus funds for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) would be reduced by $302 million.  This could have an impact on any second round applications being considered.

The House still needs to approve these changes and will likely vote when they return to Washington, DC next week.

For more details, please see the District Dispatch posting.

RUS BIP Round 2 Application Directory posted; Help Desk has extended hours

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has posted a Round 2 Application Directory for the Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP).  According to BroadbandUSA.gov:

“This directory provides a listing of the BIP Infrastructure applications received under NOFA 2, as well as a listing of the organizations which filed Public Notice Responses to Round 2 BIP Infrastructure applications.”

Information on extended hours for the Help Desk is also posted on BroadbandUSA.gov:

“To assist RUS Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) applicants during the final application days for the Satellite, Rural Library Broadband, and Technical Assistance Grant Programs, the Broadband USA Help Desk is announcing extended support hours. The Help Desk will be open Saturday June 5, and Sunday June 6, 2010 between the hours of 9am until 7pm EDT and on the deadline day of Tuesday June 8, 2010 from 7am until 9pm EDT. For any assistance with BIP or this website, please contact the Broadband USA Help Desk by phone at 1-877-508-8364 or by email at BroadbandUSA@usda.gov.”


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