Broadband stimulus grants update

by Steve Blum • , , , ,

A story making the rounds — and it might even be true — is that the National Institute of Health received 15,000 applications for stimulus grants that it’s administering. Of those, about 400 got funded in the first round. Based on the accelerating interest in the broadband stimulus program, it’s very possible — likely, I think — that we’ll see a similar response.

The broadband stimulus money is still sitting in the pipeline. Latest word is that NTIA will release the grant criteria on 30 June 2009, and allow a month or six weeks for applications to be prepared. Those applications would be reviewed in the September to December range, with award announcements expected by the end of the year, or shortly thereafter.

That’s for the first round of three. Round two applications would be due in the October – December 2009 time frame, with reviews beginning in January 2010 and awards expected by April 2010. The last round of applications would be due in the first quarter of 2010, maybe as late as April, with awards being announced maybe by June 2010.

The RUS money might flow a little faster, but there’s less of it. And then again, it might not.

Earlier, the California Emerging Technology Fund had indicated that it was ready to provide some or all of the required 20% matching funds for broadband projects, but it looks to be pulling back a bit. Latest news is that CETF will help with matching funds for broadband adoption programs, but not for broadband infrastructure construction. The California Public Utilities Commission is still a potential source for matching funds, but no guarantees there.