The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has received 867 applications requesting $11 billion for proposed broadband projects in its second round of funding. NTIA allocated approximately $2.6 billion for the second round of its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).
A preliminary analysis of applicant-reported data shows that NTIA received requests for grants totaling more than $11 billion. When including about $4.5 billion in non-federal matching funds committed by the applicants, there are over $15.5 billion in proposed broadband projects.
BTOP applications were received in three categories and break down as follows:
Comprehensive Community Infrastructure: 355 of the applications, requesting approximately $8.4 billion in grants, are for Comprehensive Community Infrastructure projects, which focus on deployment of middle mile broadband infrastructure that connects community anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety facilities. For the second funding round, NTIA has allocated approximately $2.35 billion for such infrastructure projects.
Sustainable Broadband Adoption: 251 of the applications, requesting approximately $1.7 billion in grants, are for projects that promote sustainable demand for broadband services, including projects to provide broadband education, training, and equipment, particularly among vulnerable population groups where broadband technology has traditionally been underutilized. In the second funding round, NTIA has allocated at least $100 million for such projects.
Public Computer Centers: 261 of the applications, requesting more than $922 million in grants, are for public computer center projects, which will expand access to broadband service and enhance broadband capacity at public libraries, community colleges, and other institutions that serve the public. In the second funding round, NTIA has allocated at least $150 million for such projects.