With the final funding window for broadband stimulus applicants opening on Feb. 16, groups submitting proposals should pay attention to the guidance offered at workshops being hosted around the country by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Services (RUS). The two federal agencies are disbursing $7.2 billion set aside in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for broadband projects.

The NTIA and RUS have conducted seven workshops, so far, with two more scheduled -- one in Fayetteville, N.C., and another in Atlanta.

NTIA administrator Lawrence Strickling recently described his routine thought process when reviewing applications to a room of workshop attendees in Denver.

"When these projects are brought to me, I very much am looking for the management experience of the team that's putting it together, the budget they've put together and the reasonableness of the assumptions they're making," Strickling said. "We want to see that this is a project that will stand on its own once the federal money is gone."

Strickling said inclusion of private companies with experience doing similar projects to those proposed would signal that competency to him.

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Andy Opsahl  | 

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