Long shot for federal broadband grants in California

29 May 2014 by Steve Blum
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Federal broadband infrastructure grants are pretty thin. Earlier this year, congress approved $10 million a year for five years for rural gigabit pilot projects. The FCC is looking at putting money into rural broadband experiments, but isn’t saying how much. And the US department of agriculture’s rural utilities service – which usually just makes loans – has $13 million available now for “advanced communications technology in rural areas”, via its Community Connect grant program.… More

$50 million for rural gigabit projects included in farm bill

4 February 2014 by Steve Blum
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Incumbents are still king.

The U.S. senate just joined the house in approving a new $50 million ($10 million a year for five years) “Rural Gigabit Network Pilot Program”. It’s in the farm bill just sent on for the president’s approval (or not). Unlike current rural broadband subsidy programs, it allows grants in addition to loans and doesn’t particularly favor incumbents.

An eligible applicant is one that does “not already provide ultra-high speed service to a rural area within any State in the proposed service territory”.… More