Broadband USA site now has active link to NOFA:
HIGHLIGHTS of the NOTICE OF FUNDS AVAILABILITY
A summary by Knight Foundation, Knight Center for Digital Excellence on the NOFA.
A summary, strategy and recommendations for changes by New America Foundation on the NOFA.
USDA and NTIA have developed a two-step application process:
- In step one, the goal is to create a pool of viable and potentially fundable applications.
- Step two is to fully validate the submissions in step one and identify the most highly qualified applications for funding.
BTOP funds are available through 3 categories:
- Broadband Infrastructure
- Public Computer Centers
- Sustainable Broadband Adoption.
Broadband Infrastructure category consists of Last Mile and Middle Mile in unserved and underserved areas.
Broadband definition: two-way data transmission with advertised speeds of at least 768 kbps downstream and at least 200 kbps upstream.
Public Computer Center will expand public access and capacity at entities that permit the public to use these computing centers.
The Sustainable Broadband Adoption category will fund innovative projects that promote broadband demand.
- $1.2billion for Last Mile Projects.
- $400M for grants Remote Area projects.*
- $800M for loans or loan/grant combos for Non-Remote projects.*
- $800M for loans or loan/grant combos for Middle Mile projects.
* Remote area means an unserved, rural area 50 miles from the limits of a non-rural area.
All awards under NTIA BTOP and USDA BIP must be made no later than September 30, 2010
For-profit corps that are willing to promote the goals of the Recovery Act and comply with the statutory requirements are eligible.
- 1) application;
- 2) completion w/2 yrs;
- 3) technical feasibility.
Nondiscrimination and Interconnection Obligations:
- i. adhere to the principles contained in the FCC’s Internet Policy Statement
- ii. not favor any lawful Internet applications and content over others
- iii. display any network management policies and provide notice to customers of changes to these policies
- iv. connect to the public Internet directly or indirectly, such that the project is not an entirely private closed network
- v. offer interconnection on reasonable rates and terms to be negotiated with requesting parties
Conditions will apply for the life of the awardee’s facilities used in the project.
The scoring criteria for BIP and BTOP:
- 1 Project Purpose;
- 2 Project Benefits;
- 3 Project Viability;
- 4 Project Budget and Sustainability.
- Project Purpose 25 pts: Proportion of Rural Residents Served in Unserved Areas 5 pts Rural Area Targeting 5 pts Remote Area Targeting 5 pts.
- Title II Borrowers (5 points). Recovery Act and other governmental collaboration (5 points).
- Broadband speed: Last Mile Projects of 20+ megabit per second service will be favored; 100+ megabits per second service for Middle Mile.
- Pts for demonstrating affordability and providing choice of provider.
- Pts for 25% discounts to “all critical community facilities in the proposed funded service area”.
- Critical community facilities: public facilities that provide community services essential for supporting the safety, health, well-being.
* Critical community facilities: emergency response and other public safety activities, hospitals and clinics, libraries, schools and more.
- Project Viability (25 points).
- Applicant’s organizational capability (12 points); Community support (2 points); Ability to promptly start project (10 points).
- Disadvantaged small businesses (1 point).
- Project Budget and Sustainability (25 points).
USDA and NTIA intend to announce the awards starting on or about November 7, 2009.
- census block where at least 90% of HHs lack access to facilities-based, terrestrial broadband service @ 768 kbps.
- 1. no more than 50% of the HHs in the area have access to facilities-based, terrestrial broadband service @ 768 kbps.
- 2. no fixed or mobile broadband service provider advertises broadband transmission speeds of at least 3mbps.