This week we received and posted valuable input from States, Territories and Tribal entities about our Round 2 applications. As a result, BTOP staff will have valuable, in-depth perspectives into the local impact of the proposals under consideration. As was the case in round one, we received thoughtful views from State CTOs, technology advisors and other key staff for governors and Tribal Leaders on which projects would best reach their most underserved and economically needy areas.
Many of the local “point people” responsible for this consultation went above and beyond to make sure their office created a robust rubric for analysis of the applications; in one case  the comment document is a full-fledged report of the state’s broadband agenda, with sixty-plus pages of scoring charts, letters of intent and recommendation, and details about each recommended applicant.
For our Tribal outreach, NTIA made a true commitment to deliver on President Obama’s recent memorandum  to federal agencies, calling for “engaging in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications.” NTIA sought the views of Tribal Leaders of Native Nations and spent many hours preparing personalized packages to be delivered to every Tribe in the nation.
The bipartisan, nationwide cooperation shown by all players during this process proves that across the country, governors and Tribal Leaders are interested in getting the best possible results from Recovery Act investments. NTIA will be taking these comments into consideration as we move forward in the application review process, as governors and Tribal Leaders are uniquely qualified to provide on-the-ground insight that can make BTOP a success.
Ian Martinez is the Director of Outreach for BTOP