Broadband stimulus grant awards are being awarded on a rolling basis, with more coming from the first funding window established by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Rural Utilities Service (RUS), the two federal agencies distributing $7.2 billion set aside in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for broadband projects. The winning projects Vice President Joe Biden announced in December 2009 were only part of what the NTIA would distribute to applicants for the first funding window.

The NTIA labels its share of the money the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). A total of 15 BTOP grants have been awarded, so far, equaling approximately $200 million.

"The strongest proposals are the ones that have taken a truly comprehensive view of the communities to be served and have engaged as many key members of the communities as possible in developing the projects," said assistant secretary for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling in a statement.

The NTIA recently announced that a second round of BTOP applications would be accepted through March 15, 2010. The rules for applying to this funding round have were modified to make the application process more user-friendly and better target program resources, according to the NTIA.

"I encourage prospective round two BTOP applicants to study the grant announcements we are currently rolling out for guidance as they put together their own project proposals," Strickling added.

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Andy Opsahl  | 

Andy Opsahl is a former writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.