Broadband Stimulus Watch: Application rate for round 1 (rural) broadband stimulus is high

With submissions for the first round of broadband stimulus funds underway, the high rate of submissions is proof that demand for broadband access is heavy.

From the Business first of Columbia:

Nearly 2,200 state and local governments, businesses, nonprofit groups and other entities submitted applications for $28 billion in loans and grants for projects that would expand broadband access. That’s seven times the amount of funding available through this round.

This tells us two things: that citizens and groups are passionate about getting broader internet access in their communities, and that the shear volume of requests compared to funds available means that competition for getting funds will the fierce, with those groups who give the National Telecommunications and Information Agency the most compelling request for stimulus funds will get the money.

It's hard to say if this this trend will continue when the 2nd round of submissions, the round that urban areas like Seattle are eligible to apply for, will continue. But judging from the rural submissions, that the fact that there are many urban communities, like those in Seattle's Central District and South End which would benefit greatly in greater broadband access, competition the likes of what we are seeing in this current round would be a safe bet.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey