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Joint Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Request for Information

Date: 
March 12, 2009
Docket Number: 
090309298-9299-01

American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives

Comments

(Late Submission)
To whom it may concern:

The attached file represents comments from QC Data, Inc.



Thank you,

John Tellis

Senior Account Executive

QC Data, Inc.

8000 East Maplewood Ave.

Suite 300

Greenwood Village, CO 80111

303-788-9121

303-547-6600 cell






(Late Submission)
See Attachment for this

(Late Submission)
From: Anthony Lehv
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 9:51 PM
To: BTOP@ntia.doc.gov
Subject: NTIA/RUS Docket No. 090309298-9299-01



Dear sir or madam -



On behalf of American Tower Corporation, attached are its comments for
submission in NTIA/RUS Docket No. 090309298-9299-01.



Please contact me if you have any questions concerning this filing.



Respectfully submitted,



H. Anthony Lehv

Senior Vice President, Associate General Counsel & Chief Compliance
Officer

American Tower Corporation

116 Huntington Avenue

11th Floor

Boston, MA 02116



P: 617.375.7544

F: 617.375.7575

C: 202.423.4915

Anthony.Lehv@americantower.com



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(Late Submission)
See Attached Comments

(Late Submission)
I've had no video since a few minutes into the broadcast. Still getting
the speech to text most of the time. Are you just overloaded?



Will there be a full transcript available afterwards?





James L. Baker, Chief

Information Technologies Group

SEDA - Council of Governments

201 Furnace Road

Lewisburg, PA 17837

voice: (570)524-4491 fax: (570)524-9190

www.seda-cog.org



"My job in the coming years will not be to attract companies... my job
will be to attract talent."
- Janet Miller, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce






(Late Submission)
Please find attached comments pertaining to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives. These comments are provided from the eXtension Foundation, a national Internet-based educational network providing 24/7/365 access to objective, science-based information from land-grant universities and partners nationwide. It is an integral part of and complements the community-based Cooperative Extension System.

(Late Submission)
Dear friends,

I am writing to express Reclaim the Media's support for the attached
comment, submitted by several public interest advocacy organizations in
docket no. 090309298-9299-01, pertaining to the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives.

The attached comment was submitted in advance of yesterday's deadline; I
have simply added our group's name to the list of cosigners.

many thanks

Jonathan Lawson


Jonathan Lawson
Executive Director

Reclaim the Media
Community organizing for social change through media justice
www.reclaimthemedia.org |
email list



(Late Submission)
See Attachment

(Late Submission)




    


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(Late Submission)
Comments of the Kentucky Municipal Utilities Association

(Late Submission)
See attached Comments of Carlson Wireless Technologies, Inc.

(Late Submission)
See the attached document.

(Late Submission)
attachment

(Late Submission)
Please see attached letter.

(Late Submission)
April 13, 2009

Re: Comments on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Broadband Initiatives of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Rural Utilities Service Docket No. 090309298–9299–01

To Whom It May Concern:
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) believes that building mobile wireless broadband networks should be a primary consideration in state’s efforts to provision broadband in un- and underserved areas. The OSRHE recognizes that public-private partnerships are critical to the rollout and sustainability of the nation’s broadband efforts through the cost-sharing of infrastructure and expertise – ultimately providing a framework of collaboration that serves business and consumers as well as government and education entities that include, but are not limited to, K-20, healthcare, transportation, public safety, tribes and scientific research. This public-private partnership would definitely provide the best “bang for the stimulus buck”. Further, this has been the model for OSRHE’s Statewide Network “OneNet” for 16 years which has proven that State Government, Education and for-profit telecommunication companies can partner to reduce costs for both and provide tremendous value to consumer, business, government and education.
Today’s mobile technologies are also capable of speeds supporting the vast majority of uses critical to economic and social participation in cyberspace. Unlike wired networks, mobile wireless broadband networks have the ability to deliver a double benefit – broadband and mobility with a single, targeted investment.
Wireless technology is also the most cost-efficient means of providing affordable “last” and “middle mile” broadband both to sparsely populated rural areas and urban centers. Wireless broadband networks can be built quickly and due to their low cost, they are sustainable and more affordable than wired networks. Wireless broadband networks are also critical to attracting investment, spurring innovation, and increasing productivity.
OSRHE recommends that the “Agencies” implement the following strategies as part of their broadband initiatives.
• The Agencies should consider relevant broadband product markets when defining “un-served,” “underserved,” and “rural economic development.”
• Mobile wireless and fixed broadband services comprise separate product markets. Broadband services are comprised of different product markets that offer consumers different capabilities, irrespective of the broadband speed provided or the technology used. The ability of wireless networks to offer mobility places wireless broadband in an entirely separate product market.
• NTIA should define areas in which mobile wireless broadband service capable of delivering at least 3 mbps downlink and 768 kbps uplink speeds is unavailable as “un-served.”
• For the same reason, RUS should define areas in which mobile wireless broadband service is unavailable as lacking sufficient high speed broadband service to facilitate rural economic development.
• The Agencies should not require symmetrical threshold speeds for mobile wireless broadband networks.
• The Agencies should reject requests to limit initial rounds of funding to “un-served” areas only and instead consider both “un-served” and “underserved” areas concurrently.
• Projects that receive funding should represent a public–private partnership which will benefit consumers, rural business as well as hospitals, libraries, public safety and all levels of education and government including tribal government .
• The Agencies’ application selection criteria should consider whether multiple purposes or product markets would be served by an application.
• Applications which serve many markets and constituencies should be move to the top of the selection lists.
• The Agencies should give consideration to an applicant who has a history of providing enabling telecommunications with demonstrated commitment to rural and underserved areas.
State Role
• The Agencies should give substantial consideration to the views of the states.
• The “State” role should include identifying and insuring services are built to local communities, tribes, K-20 education, public safety, transportation, healthcare, smart grids and other government institutions.
• The Agencies should give positive consideration to states who operate their own private data networks and who have demonstrated history of reducing costs through public-private partnerships with for-profit telecommunications companies which ultimately lower costs to both by sharing most infrastructure costs.
• The Agencies should reject proposals, even from “States” which will not serve all levels of government. For example, a request for funds to build a “K-12” network which will not benefit libraries or higher educations should not be funded as it would requires duplicative efforts on the part of those other agencies.
OSRHE commends the Agencies’ adoption of an open and inclusive process for soliciting public comment on how to best implement the broadband funding provisions in Section 6001 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”). With ARRA funding, OSRHE will be able to accelerate broadband deployment to unserved and underserved areas, create and sustain jobs, and enhance public institutions’ capabilities with regard to the Internet. Accordingly, OSRHE has a direct and immediate interest in the Agencies’ funding criteria and application procedures, and offers these comments in an attempt to assist the Agencies in their efforts to implement the ARRA.
Conclusion
The Agencies should give substantial consideration to the views of the States.
The Agencies should give substantial consideration to the views of the states when determining whether a particular area is “unserved” or “underserved” as well as during the application selection process. Congress recognized that States have resources and a familiarity with local economic, demographic, and market conditions that could contribute to the success of the broadband grant program. This important role permits the states to share their considerable expertise.
OSRHE stands ready and willing to work with NTIA, RUS, the FCC and other industry groups to bring the ARRA application process to a successful conclusion.
Respectfully submitted, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

(Late Submission)

Enclosed for filing in the above-captioned matter, please find the
Comments of Premium Choice Broadband.
If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free
to contact me at (207) 791-3191 or alandry@preti.com.



Andrew Landry, Esq.
Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios
45 Memorial Circle, PO Box 1058
Augusta, ME 04332-1058

Tel. 207.623.5300
Fax 207.623.2914
>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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(Late Submission)
See Attachment.

(Late Submission)
We were recently were asked to add more fixed wireless coverage in our proposal which is not reflected in our revised our comment.

We also agree and support the Wireless Internet Service Providers NTIA comments and questions. St. Louis Broadband is a member of WISPA.org

Victoria Proffer
CEO
St. Louis Broadband, LLC

(Late Submission)
Where on the web is the specifications and forms associated with The
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act?



Terry L Wells
OSP Network Planner - Strategic Network Planning
D&E Communications, Inc.
124 East Main Street
P.O. Box 458
Ephrata, Pa 17522
www.decommunications.com
717-738-8202 office
717-859-2552 fax
twells@decommunications.com




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(Late Submission)
Please include the attached comments in the public file.



If you have any questions, please contact me.



Thank you.



Randolph J. May

President

The Free State Foundation



P. O. Box 60680

Potomac, MD 20859

Tel. 301-299-3182

Fax. 301-299-5007

Cell 202-285-9926

E-Mail rmay@freestatefoundation.org

Web www.freestatefoundation.org

Blog http://freestatefoundation.blogspot.com







(Late Submission)
Please see the attached document.

(Late Submission)
Comments are attached

(Late Submission)
Submitting a report on Connected Nation and the privatization of public data.

(Late Submission)

Attached are comments (in Word format) from Rural Telephone Service Co.,
Inc. pertaining to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Broadband Initiatives, Docket No. 090309298-9299-01.


(See attached file: Rural Telephone Comments Recovery Act April 13
2009.doc)


Lisa Wagoner
Executive Assistant
Rural Telephone / P.O. Box 158 / Lenora, KS 67645
785.567.4281 / 877.567.7872
**************************************************************


(Late Submission)
To Whom It May Concern:



The comments from General Communication Inc. on the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration and Rural Utilities
Service queries regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of
2009 Broadband Initiatives are attached in Microsoft Word form. Please
contact me, Alex Bryson, via phone at 202-730-1319 or e-mail at
abryson@harriswiltshire.com if there are any problems regarding this
filing.



Thank you very much for your time.



Alex Bryson

Legal Assistant

Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

1200 Eighteenth Street NW

Washington DC, 20036

(202) 730-1319

www.harriswiltshire.com






(Late Submission)
Please review our submittal to both the NTIA and the RUS regarding comments for the BTOP.

(Late Submission)
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides for federal grants for broadband. The state of Texas lags behind the national average for the adoption of broadband services as well as other large states. There are many factors that contribute to this, but for purposes of the stimulus plan, the key factors that will lead to sustainable adoption are availability, affordability and competition. To address these factors, the state of Texas needs to maximize stimulus funds available for construction of broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas of Texas. Unserved and underserved areas include rural areas in which broadband service is unavailable, as well as economically impoverished areas in which competitive and affordable broadband service is not available.

The state of Texas would use stimulus money to fund projects that seek to deploy broadband service to the most people, in the shortest amount of time at the lowest cost. These goals are technology-neutral, as both wire line and wireless technologies have strengths and weaknesses depending on the area in which services are being deployed.

The demand for such service in Texas is at an all time high. As an increasing number of Texans subscribe to online services, broadband becomes a larger player in the telecommunications market. The number of broadband subscribers in Texas has increased 133 percent from 2005 to 2007 demonstrating a high rate of adoption and demand for broadband service as its price continues to drop to a level that more Texans can afford.

(Late Submission)
Do we go to the local agency to ask for the Grants for the NTIA and
USDA?

Or is there a specific offices?


Tatum Martin

VP Operations

GlenMartin Inc

Phone: 660-882-2734 ext: 218

A Woman-Owned Business Enterprise



www.glenmartin.com







(Late Submission)
Comments are provided for each question in the attached documents. Our comments are in bold italic type.

Thank you.

Michael Armstrong

(Late Submission)
Please see attachments

April 6, 2009

Electronic Submission via http://www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandgrants/form.cfm

Dear Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program,

Broadband is a crucial and enjoyable technology that everyone should have access to. I laud President Obama’s Broadband Initiative to bring broadband to underserved rural areas. This is quite clearly a massive undertaking and the technology used to implement this program will have long-term ramifications. It is imperative that the sustainability and the health impacts of this undertaking be thoroughly examined and considered in the choosing of the broadband technology. Sustainability and Health must be given the highest status as part of the Selection Criteria for the program.

For these reasons fiber optics is the most desirable technology to implement. Next generation fiber optics uses less energy and will therefore contribute less CO2 than other systems. In addition to the CO2 emissions from wireless communications the RF radiation, which amplifies in crystalline structures, may be a factor in the rapid melting of Artic and Antarctic ice and in warming of the ice crystals in our atmosphere.

Fiber optics is also the clear choice for our Homeland Security needs. Fiber optics are not easily hacked into and they cause no RF interference with other communication systems. In addition they are mostly impervious to harm from nuclear radiation and any potential solar electromagnetic interference.

But, the clear reason as to why fiber optics should be used is that it will limit the amount of RF radiation the general population is exposed to. I was injured three years ago from chronic exposure to cellular antennas. I have been researching this issue extensively and I have found there is much scientific evidence, which indicates that there are biological non-thermal effects from exposure to RF radiation. I have also networked with people from all over the world who have had their health impacted by chronic RF radiation exposure. Many of these people, including myself, have had to quit our jobs and move from our homes in our effort to minimize our RF radiation exposure. I can attest from anecdotal evidence from my networking that minimizing RF radiation exposure is the only way to lesson the sensitivity to RF radiation that occurs from chronic exposure. While there is a growing population of people who have realized the source of their deteriorating health is due to RF radiation exposure there are potentially millions of people who are being harmed without realizing the cause. Doctors worldwide are reporting increases in new diseases. These increases have grown along with our growth of wireless communication antennas. Many countries in Europe and elsewhere have taken measures to limit RF radiation exposure. Doctors and scientists have issued warnings, especially for pregnant women and children to limit exposure.

The U.S. must take steps to limit exposure to RF radiation. Our federal exposure standards are outdated and only take into account thermal effects. The exposure harm is not limited to humans. Animals, birds, plants and even our climate are impacted by the increase of RF radiation due to human wireless communications.

In addition to wireless systems, Broadband over power lines will increase RF radiation exposure unless steps are taken to limit the antenna effect of our current wire lines. The braiding of communication cables and the coupling of telephone wires limit the antenna effect and should be used for any power line broadband use.

With sincere hope,

Angela Flynn
5309 Iroquois Road
Bethesda, MD 20816
Angelaflynn80@msn.com
301-229-0282



Please refer to these supporting documents:

1. European Parliament resolution of 2 April 2009 on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P6-TA-2009-0216+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN

2. Pathophysiology xxx (2009) xxx–xxx
Public health implications of wireless technologies
Cindy Sage a,!, David O. Carpenter b
a Sage Associates, 1396 Danielson Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, USA
b Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY, USA
Received 18 January 2008; accepted 30 January 2009

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?orig_db=PubMed&db=pubmed&cmd=Search&TransSchema=title&term=public%20health%20implications%20of%20wireless%20technologies


3. Petition to Halt Universal Wireless Broadband, A Public Health Hazard

http://wavr.org/petition/ToObama.php

4. Bees, Birds and Mankind
Destroying Nature by `Electrosmog´
Ulrich Warnke

Effects of Wireless Communication Technologies
A Brochure Series by the Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, Environment and Democracy

http://www.broschuerenreihe.net/international/bees-birds-and-mankind/index.html

5. Power Lines as Antennas From 100 kHz to 50 MHz
Author: Ed Hare, ARRL Laboratory Manager1
Date: July 7, 2003

ARRL, Ed Hare, Laboratory Manager, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111, Tel: 860-594-0318, Email:
w1rfi@arrl.org, Web: http://www.arrl.org/
www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/et03-104/Power_lines_as_antennas.pdf

6. Fielding a Current Idea: Expoloring the Public Health Impact of Electromagnetic Radiation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17572456 (available as a html version here - http://74.125.93.104/search?q=cache:s0ce9PjgIh0J:www.electrosense.nl/nl/download/4+Fielding+a+current+idea:+exploring+the+public+health+impact+of+electromagnetic&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

7. BioInitiative: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF)

Contact: info@bioinitiative.org

Report: available at www.bioinitiative.org

Expressions of Concern from Scientists in the last years

http://www.stralingsrisicos.nl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23&Itemid=6

(Late Submission)
Before The
U.S. Department of Commerce
Washington, DC 202230


__________________________________________
In the Matter of )
)
Rural Utilities Service and ) Docket No. 090309298-
) 9299-01
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 )
Broadband Initiatives )
)
Joint Request for Information )
__________________________________________)

COMMENTS OF THE
CONSORTIUM FOR SCHOOL NETWORKING,
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION AND
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION

INTRODUCTION
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the National Education Association (NEA) are pleased to submit these comments in response to the above captioned Joint Request for Information. CoSN is the country's premier voice in education technology leadership, serving K-12 technology leaders who, through their strategic use of technology, improve teaching and learning. CoSN’s core audiences are the chief technology officers and technology leaders in school districts. ISTE is the premier membership association for educators and education leaders engaged in improving teaching and learning by advancing the effective use of technology in PK-12 and teacher education. Home of NETS and NECC, ISTE represents more than 85,000 education professionals worldwide. NEA is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2 million elementary and secondary teachers, college faculty, school administrators, education support professionals, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.
CoSN, ISTE and NEA believe that the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) is an excellent resource that will complement the E-Rate program’s efforts to deliver advanced telecommunications services to our nation’s public and private schools and public libraries. Our interest in addressing the questions raised by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) Joint Request for Information (Joint Request) regarding Section 6001 of the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act), reflects our members’ commitment to ensuring that all of America’s students and educators gain access to broadband services which, in turn, will deliver to them the knowledge and skills they need to compete in the global economy.
DISCUSSION
I. Guidance Regarding BTOP Funding
In the Joint Notice, NTIA requests guidance on several topics related to the funding of BTOP. Our comments address the following topics: eligibility requirements for entities seeking BTOP funds; the role of states in awarding grants to eligible entities; the role retail price should play in determining whether an area is underserved or unserved; broadband mapping requirements; and the expansion of computer center capacities.

A. Eligibility Requirements
Section 6001(e) of The Recovery Act defines entities eligible for participation in BTOP as “a State or political subdivision thereof, the District of Columbia, a territory or possession of the United States, and Indian tribe…or native Hawaiian organization.”
While ISTE, CoSN and NEA understand that the Recovery Act does not clearly state that Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and Education Service Agencies (ESAs) are eligible participants under BTOP, we submit that LEAs are eligible based on a common definition of the term “political subdivision” and the plain intent of Recovery Act’s framers.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines a school district as a “a political division of a state, created by the legislature and invested with local powers of self government, to build, maintain, fund, and support the public schools within its territory and to otherwise assist the state in its educational responsibilities.” This definition was recently relied upon by an Appellate Court of Ohio, which went on to further explain that “[a] school district is clearly an entity responsible for governmental activities for the purpose of ensuring a functioning school system.” Therefore, given that LEAs receive their authority from the State to provide education services to local communities and are governed by elected officials, they can and should be considered “political subdivisions.” We request that NTIA state affirmatively that LEAs are “political subdivisions” and therefore eligible to receive BTOP funds.
Aside from this definitional issue, the Recovery Act’s language authorizing the BTOP program evidences the clear intent of its authors that K-12 educational institutions receive direct benefits through BTOP. The language explicitly references education numerous times, most notably in the sections that chart the BTOP’s mission and the bases for making awards. Specifically, the Recovery Act identifies the program’s goals as, “To accelerate broadband deployment in unserved and underserved areas and to strategic institutions that are likely to create jobs or provide significant public benefits.” The Recovery Act expands on the “strategic institutions” language by indicating that one of the program’s central purposes is to “provide broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment and support” to, among others, “schools, libraries, medical and healthcare providers, community colleges…[and] institutions of higher education....” (emphasis added). Additionally, the Recovery Act requires NTIA to make awards based on a number of factors, including whether the grant “will, if approved, enhance service for health care delivery, education, or children to the greatest population of users in the area.” (emphasis added). Based on this language of the Recovery Act, there should be no doubt that the intent of the statute was that LEAs should be eligible to receive funds under the BTOP.
B. Consideration of State Priorities in Awarding Grants
The Joint Request asks for guidance on whether projects must first receive a State’s permission to request BTOP funds from NTIA. CoSN, ISTE and NEA believe that school district submitted projects should not require permission from the State before applying for BTOP funds, as it will slow down the application process and consequently delay the stimulative affect of such projects. As such, requiring school districts to request permission from States before applying for BTOP funds will thwart Congress’s intent in the Act, “to establish and implement the grant program as expeditiously as possible.” (emphasis added).
Moreover, school districts may understand their broadband needs better than state authorities, and therefore will be able identify those needs better than the state. This is exemplified in the E-Rate program, which allows districts to assess their needs and apply directly for support. The BTOP program should operate under similar guidelines.
Although CoSN, ISTE and NEA do not support a requirement that school district projects receive state permission before applying for BTOP funds, we recognize the states’ interest in coordinating resources within their states. Accordingly, CoSN, ISTE and NEA recommend that NTIA require that school districts notify states of their submission of applications for BTOP grants. In this way, states would have the opportunity to help direct and guide projects so that funding would be coordinated across the state and aligned with state and federal directives and programs.
Finally, CoSN, ISTE and NEA must note that the BTOP grant program provides one of the few opportunities in the entirety of the Recovery Act for school districts to apply directly for federal funding. The vast majority of new programs funded through the Recovery Act are open only to states, such as the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund and the Race to the Top grants, leaving school districts without any direct access to much-needed federal funds to restore and revitalize their local education systems. Above and beyond the merits of the preceding arguments, we contend that fairness dictates that NTIA permit school districts to apply directly for BTOP grants.
C. The Role of Retail Price in Determining Whether An Area Is Unserved Or Underserved
In the Joint Request, NTIA requests that the public provide comments on how the terms “underserved” and “unserved” are defined, and whether retail price for broadband services should be a factor in those definitions. CoSN, ISTE and NEA believe that retail price is an important factor in determining whether an area is underserved or unserved; providing broadband at prices that are too high for area residents and schools to afford would have the same effect as not providing services to an area at all. One of the central rationales for the E-Rate program, and ultimately one of its greatest successes, was ensuring that schools and libraries in low-income and high cost areas gain access to Internet connectivity that was on par with the access enjoyed by residents of wealthier and lower cost areas. We believe that NTIA can and must base the BTOP program on this very same concern. Accordingly, we urge NTIA to incorporate the concept of affordability into its definitions of underserved or unserved.
D. Broadband Mapping
The NTIA seeks comments in the Joint Notice on what level of specificity a geographic broadband map should provide about broadband services in each area. CoSN, ISTE and NEA believe that in order to provide the most accurate information about the services in each school, a broadband map must include public schools and go deeper than merely mapping connections to the school door. We think it critical that, if possible, any mapping provide detailed information about broadband capacity to individual classrooms and students. We also recommend that the collection of this information be conducted in as non-burdensome a manner as possible, capitalizing on any pre-existing, recent surveys (including data collected from school and library applicants for the E-Rate program by the Universal Service Administrative Company) that can supply the relevant information.
To evaluate the level of broadband capacity in classrooms, CoSN, ISTE and NEA recommend that NTIA collect information on how many classrooms have at least one wired broadband-level connection as well as how many broadband level wireless access points exist at each school. Compiling this information will provide a “snapshot” of classroom broadband capability at each school and greatly augment the broadband data map produced by NTIA.
However, this information about classroom broadband capability needs to be further distilled to determine the effective broadband capability for each end user. Consequently, we urge NTIA to collect information on the broadband levels for each end user computing device, including speeds at peak and off-peak hours. NTIA should then use this information to create an accurate map about available broadband resources for each student at public schools across the country.
E. Institutions Eligible for BTOP Funds to Expand Computer Center Capacities Other Than Colleges and Public Libraries
NTIA also seeks comments in the Joint Request on what institutions, other than colleges and public libraries, should be eligible to receive BTOP funds to expand computer center capacities. In response to this inquiry, CoSN, ISTE and NEA recommend that NTIA expressly include public schools and school libraries as institutions eligible to receive grants for expanding computer center capacities.
Making schools and school libraries eligible recipients of the funds allotted for expansion of public computer center capacity would complement and enhance the work that the E-Rate is doing. Whereas E-Rate prohibits schools from acquiring computers and software with program resources, the Recovery Act authorizes BTOP to fund the purchase of hardware and software to promote broadband usage in unserved and underserved areas. This expansion of hardware and software in school computer rooms and school libraries through BTOP would be a tremendous benefit to, at a minimum, students and teachers at schools receiving E-Rate support.
Ultimately, we believe that the addition of computer capacity to schools and school libraries will also provide a tremendous benefit to the public. Currently, many schools and school libraries in rural and/or low-income areas serve as the focal points of community activities and are used for continuing education and other similar purposes. The expansion of public center computing capacity at schools and school libraries would only serve to bolster those roles and provide valuable services to residents unable to access technology elsewhere.
CoSN, ISTE and NEA recognize, though, that current E-Rate program rules make it difficult for schools and school libraries to allow the public to use E-rate supported telecommunications and Internet services during non-school hours. Under the current rules, schools must cost-allocate E-Rate services if such services are used for non-educational purposes. CoSN, ISTE and NEA are seeking to eliminate this cost-allocation burden, thereby making it easier for schools to allow the public to receive additional benefits from E-Rate supported services. While we recognize that such a rule change could take some time, we are confident of success. Once that change occurs, the full fruits of expanding public computer center capacity through BTOP investments will be fully realized.
II. Additional Concerns Regarding BTOP Funding
A. Financial Contributions by Grant Applicants
Although it was not specifically mentioned in the Joint Notice, CoSN, ISTE and NEA also provide the following comments on the 20% matching requirement required under BTOP:
Given the economic downturn and the likely budget challenges faced by public entities that BTOP was designed to serve, we believe that the 20% matching requirement should be able to come in the form of cash- and in-kind contributions. Allowing these types of contributions is not without precedent, as NTIA permitted grantees under BTOP’s predecessor, the Technology Opportunities Program (TOP), to use cash- and in-kind contributions for the program’s 20% matching requirement. Accordingly, allowing cash- and in-kind contributions will not only lessen the burden on already strapped public resources but also follow the precedent NTIA established previously under TOP.
B. Non-applicability of “Unserved” and “Underserved” to K12 Schools
CoSN, ISTE and NEA endorse comments filed by EDUCAUSE that the terms “unserved” and “underserved” are not intended to and do not apply to K12 schools, thereby allowing all K12 institutions to apply for funding regardless of whether their locations are unserved or underserved by broadband services. We agree that all K12 schools should have access to BTOP funds because, as EDUCAUSE submits, “they aggregate large groups of people and have a need for high-capacity broadband connections independent of the (availability of broadband for) surrounding households."
CONCLUSION
CoSN, ISTE and NEA appreciate the Department of Commerce’s work on these BTOP issues. We look forward to continuing to assist and advise the Department of Commerce in this important undertaking.
________________________________________________________________________
Submitted on Behalf of CoSN, ISTE and NEA:
Jon Bernstein
President
Bernstein Strategy Group
919 18th Street, NW
Suite 925
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 263-2572

(Late Submission)
ARRA funds need to begin investment at the site where the broadband is needed. The home or place of business does not benefit from a mid-mile investment without an organized linkage to last mile providers. Applications need to assure a completion of the connection to the actual service site. Please see attached files.

(Late Submission)
See Attached Comments

(Late Submission)
See attached letter and information responses.

(Late Submission)
See attachment, same text also included here:

Comments to NTIA regarding Broadband TOP Stimulus Grant Program

In considering requests for federal broadband stimulus funds, NTIA should give priority to:
• Networks that will use an “open access” or “open services” business model, in which the infrastructure constructed with federal funds is open in a nondiscriminatory manner to all qualified digital telecommunications service providers, and which employs a wholesale rate structure with the goal of encouraging a competitive market that offers greater choice and affordability to end users, particularly vulnerable populations.
• Networks that use BTOP funds to build new open access infrastructure in underserved and unserved areas. Underserved should be defined as an area where:
 Potential end users have access to only one terrestrial service provider
 Potential end users live in an area to which service providers have not built
 Existing service providers do not have redundant service facilities that permit immediate restoration of service in the event of an outage
 Existing service providers cannot provide at least 10 megabits of symmetrical service to end users at an affordable rate
• Entities that will use BTOP funds to build high capacity fiber optic backbones that will be fundamental to the distribution of services to unserved and underserved areas
• Non-profit or municipal open access networks that demonstrate a viable business model for a public – private partnership which creates jobs in both public and private sector companies
• Networks that will interoperate and peer with adjacent public and private fiber networks to facilitate traffic flow throughout a multi-county or multi-state geography
• Networks that serve multiple counties and can be expanded into additional underserved and unserved regions
• Networks that bring fiber service to significant community institutions such as hospitals, libraries, emergency management offices, municipal buildings, correctional facilities, schools, colleges, etc
• Networks that will serve Native American communities and provide them with a role in network oversight
• Networks that demonstrate a plan to increase digital literacy and expand demand for broadband connectivity.

 The role of the states should be to certify projects that fit into a statewide plan for expanding broadband availability, and not to prioritize projects within the State.
 Matching funds: Allow in-kind expenses to qualify for grantee match; allow federal funds from outside of Treasury (e.g. FCC/USAC) to qualify for grantee match.

Submitted by Howard Lowe, President, and Julie West, Executive Director, April 13, 2009
CBN Connect Inc. is a nonprofit 501c3.

(Late Submission)
Attached please find comments regarding non-discrimination obligations of
the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program under NTIA Docket No.
090309298-9299-01.



-Scott Jordan



---------------------

Professor Scott Jordan

Department of Computer Science

University of California, Irvine

3029 Bren Hall

Irvine, CA 92697

Email: sjordan@uci.edu

Phone: 949-824-2177

Webpage: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~sjordan






(Late Submission)
April 13, 2009


The Honorable Anna Gomez
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB)
U.S. Department of Commerce / NTIA
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230

Dear Secretary Gomez:

As the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the United States, the League of United Latin American Citizens respectfully requests the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to quickly and efficiently distribute the more than $7 billion set aside for broadband deployment and mapping in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

To facilitate the dispersal of funds to unserved and underserved areas, NTIA must stipulate several provisions for any state interested in broadband funding. As the government continues to inject money into the economy, NTIA must require some method of transparency and accountability for all interested parties. This will help eliminate potential waste and ensure funds are being used properly. However, when considering the provisions to attach to broadband stimulus funding, NTIA must be careful not to require overly burdensome regulatory criteria that suppresses growth and investment. The unfortunate by-product would be lower participation in broadband stimulus programs and less deployment to communities that need it most. The focus must continue to stay on broadband deployment to these communities instead of Internet regulatory policies that go well beyond the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) well-established principles and undercut the Congressional intent found in the stimulus bill.

Mapping is a key component to ensuring an effective process. This will enable proper identification of areas that do not have broadband access first and deploy to those neighborhoods that need it most. Working with knowledgeable community-based organizations (CBO) to facilitate the deployment process will be most effective as they can identify qualified providers with which to partner. These CBOs know their communities well and, together with private entities, can help provide broadband access to families left behind in this digital age.

One of the main goals at LULAC is to advance the economic condition of Hispanic Americans through public-private partnerships working in conjunction with community-based organizations. We believe strongly in providing access to educational opportunities to our constituents to promote job creation and economic empowerment. With this in mind, we fully support the money for broadband expansion in communities of need and hope that Hispanics and other minorities can gain access to the life-changing opportunities that broadband provides.

As our nation continues to evolve into an e-society based on digital access and literacy, we must ensure that underserved and unserved populations are not left behind. Access to new and existing technologies is necessary to compete in the local, national and global marketplace. It not only provides efficiencies of service but, with the broadband stimulus money, will also become more affordable to communities struggling to make ends meet.

Broadband deployment and mapping will allow effective identification of areas and families that need broadband the most and provide access to information technology in an efficient and affordable manner. With a stagnant economy, Hispanic Americans and other low-income communities need educational and social opportunities to stay afloat and compete in the marketplace. The quicker NTIA can disperse broadband funding to our state and local leaders, the quicker these disadvantaged communities can gain access to tools of economic opportunity.

Sincerely,

Respectfully submitted,

Rosa Rosales
LULAC National President

(Late Submission)
Please see attached pdf

(Late Submission)
To Whom It May Concern:



Please find our comments on the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program
attached.



Thank you.



Richard J. Sherwin

Chief Executive Officer

Spot On Networks, LLC

Phone: 203 523 5202

Fax: 203 773 1947



No Wires, No Worries, No Waiting



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(Late Submission)
The comments from General Communication Inc. on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and Rural Utilities Service queries regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives are attached.

(Late Submission)
See Attachment

(Late Submission)
Please find attached Filling Comments on Section 6001 of the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. These comments are being filed
on behalf of Farmers Mutual Telephone Company.

Kristy Szabo
On Behalf of Farmers Mutual Telephone Company
605-995-1786




(Late Submission)
Please work for the removal of universal wireless broadband and broadband over power lines from consideration, and instead promote broadband access using only communication cables and fiber optics.
Fiber optics is the best technology and best investment long term.
Wireless infrastructure is a poor investment looking to the future, can be ugly and has potential harmful health effects. Wireless should be a last resort and temporary technology to fill in.
For profit companies should provide, in return for use of our public rights of way, fiber to every curb. Or, the infrastructure should be treated the same way we treat other important infrastructure that we all depend on and deployed as a true PUBLIC utility and not for profit.
The telecomm industry already received 200 billion in rate hikes and tax breaks to provide us fiber but pocketed the money instead. Americans are tired of being raped by these large corporations and the lack of regulations that allow them to use public assets for private profit must stop.

(Late Submission)
Expand Funding for Broadband Development Beyond “List of Materials”


Congress recently passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, parts of which authorize the Rural Utility Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to distribute funds totaling over $7 billion to support development of broadband internet service.

In the past the RUS developed important programs to provide loans and grants to purchase certain types of broadband infrastructure – primarily equipment such as wires, cables, and wireless hubs. However, to most effectively and efficiently promote broadband internet use, it is critical to also fund products and technologies that will be directly used by end-users. Such products and technologies can significantly enhance growth of rural broadband internet access and potentially save the government billions of dollars. Innovative technologies and products that lower the cost of adoption by end users, that make it easier for them to physically use broadband devices, that offer increased flexibility of use, and that stimulate demand are essential for the successful expansion of effective, sustainable rural broadband.

In the past, the primary method RUS has used for distributing funds has been to have the recipient organizations apply the allocated money to the purchase and installation of items from a predetermined “List of Materials” broken down into 6 categories: (1) wire and cable, (2) housing, splice cases, etc., (3) miscellaneous splicing materials, (4) electrical protective devices, (5) access, central office, and transmission equipment, wireless networks, electronic network elements, and (6) general hardware.

This earlier approach, however, excludes a few critical categories technologies for enhancing rural broadband access devices. Specifically, (a) technologies that reduce the cost of accessing, and improve the usability of end-users devices that connect to broadband networks in rural areas; (b) technologies that increase the actual usability of end-users broadband connection devices in rural areas; and (c) technologies used by end-users that promote rapid adoption of broadband access by individuals and businesses. Some of these important technologies may be currently in development and as such might not fit well into a current ‘List of Materials.” However, those technologies and products may be able to reach the broad market in large volumes within one to three years. Therefore, a modification from past funding rounds would greatly enhance development of broadband and should be strongly considered.

Investment in technology used by end-users can dramatically reduce the cost of rural broadband access by potentially billions of dollars while increasing adoption rates among the population. Moreover, such investment directly provides more jobs and directly enhances America’s competitiveness in the world through home-grown technologies and significantly improved rural broadband.
We write this letter to urge the RUS (and NTIA) to expand their loan and grant program to include – as a as a separate category or categories in addition to its “List of Materials” – the funding of products and technologies for use by end-users that can enhance rural broadband access.

(Late Submission)
My comment concerns Broadband Mapping and is attached.

(Late Submission)
Good Morning:



Will the RUS List of Materials be used? We utilize the RUS Buy American
provision in our program to identify domestic and non-domestic equipment
and I have attached a copy of this list. We are currently experiencing a
"tsunami" of new applications to get on the List and I suspect that
these vendors are anticipating that our List may be used to ensure that
any Buy American concerns are addressed. I am asking for a "heads-up"
because I want to prepare myself and our Branch; as I understand it
temporary positions are in play to handle the stimulus but not for
support our listing efforts. The RUS List of Materials would be the most
efficient mechanism to ensure any Buy American concerns are meet because
we have an extensive list of broadband vendors that are already trained
to understand our Buy American provision and any additional requirements
can be efficiently dispatched and screened for compliance (with
additional help). If not, I would like to know so I can tell these
vendors that our List of Materials will not be used, thank you and Happy
Easter.



Sincerely,

JOE MAFNAS
Advance Services Div., Technical Support Branch
USDA Rural Development - Utilities Programs

Phone: 202-720-0675, Fax: 202-720-1051

joe.mafnas@wdc.usda.gov








(Late Submission)
Please find attached comments of the WiMAX Forum in response to the
Joint Request for Information and Notice of Public Meetings, 74 Fed.
Reg. 10716 (Mar. 12, 2009), Docket No. 090309298-9299-01

Regards
Rob Kubik
WiMAX Forum Regulatory Working Group Vice-Chair




(Late Submission)
I have a passion to build and operate the most cost effective, highest quality telecommunication system possible. The following list will provide many advantages to accomplish my vision: 1. Experience of over 30 years including Fiber to the Home certified (no need for expensive consultants) 2. I love and enjoy this business 3. I became debt free in 2007 with an excellent credit score 4. I purchased my first and only cable system in Sept. 2007 in Snow Hill NC 28580 5. Ownership includes my wife and I (no investors requesting profits) 6. Memership with the National Cable Television Coperative (NCTC) for volume discounts on programming, materials, vehicles, etc. 7. Create locals jobs while saving on expensive contractors
I want to aquire funding to take this rural area to a Fiber to the Home (FTTH) system with Docsis 3.0 which will provide 180 meg up and 120 meg down while keeping the products very affordable.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my dream.
Dale Hancock
Media Cast
1121 S.E. 2nd Street
Snow Hill NC 28580
Cell: 606.307.3163
Email: dhancock@windstream.net
P.S. Please include my contact info on your list.

(Late Submission)


>>> "John Crigler" 3/26/2009 11:06:43 AM >>>
Dear Sir/Madam --

We filed comments yesterday afternoon on behalf of Native Public Media
using the BTOP On-Line Comment Form. We completed the form and
attached
our comments in the File Attachment section. Our attachment was in
PDF
format. We received a confirmation of the filing, but the
confirmation
did not include any reference to our attached file. We would like to
confirm that you received our filing along with the attachment and
that
our filing (including the attachment) is acceptable for filing
purposes
with your office. Additionally, we emailed a copy of Native Public
Media's Comments (in PDF format) to BTOP@ntia.doc.gov.

For convenience, I have attached another copy of Native Public Media's
Comments.

Thank you for your assistance. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

John Crigler


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(Late Submission)
Thank you.




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