USTelecom advocates for informed stimulus-fund distribution directed with careful oversight.
USTelecom worked to ensure that stimulus funds were directed in a way which generates the most benefit for our member community and consumers, and that reporting information is shared regarding fund distribution.
The 2009 economic stimulus package provided funds for the broadband industry, directed via the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (NTIA BTOP) and the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program (RUS BIP). The funding was delivered in the form of both grants and loans and totaled billions of dollars for projects in every state. These projects range from infrastructure enhancements to middle-mile projects to last-mile awards.
USTelecom continues to monitor the broadband program fund distribution and project results.
For example, broadband industry members historically do not share planning activities, as these are a valuable source of competitive information. However, all recipients must submit quarterly reports on all projects. In recognition of this opportunity, USTelecom's report provides data on NTIA and RUS projects as a means of keeping our member base informed about upcoming local broadband projects. The report is organized by state and includes data on the award recipient, project name, type, and amount awarded. Our goal in providing this information is to help members gauge the comparative number of projects within their region, as well as the levels of funding for each.
Stimulus funds present both opportunities and challenges for carriers. Obviously, those who received grants will enjoy the benefits of the funding, while those who did not must be alert to any stimulus-funded projects in their areas.