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Joint Broadband Technology Opportunities Program Request for Information

March 12, 2009
Docket Number: 

American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives


(Late Submission)
Q: Earlier in this Webcast, I believe that Ms. McGuire-Rivera mentioned
briefly that the inclusion of the 'Socially and Economically Disadvantaged'
business community would be given a substantial consideration during the
Broadband Grant proposal process. No doubt, particularly during this
extremely challenging economic period, this would be a tremendous point of
participatory encouragement to this sector of the business community.

Can you briefly expand on that premise, and/or provide any further
authoritative guidance on this important point, so that members of this
particular sector of the business community that operate generally within
the Broadband arena can guide themselves accordingly - perhaps through the
pursuit of strategic relationships in that regard?

Many thanks.


Derek E. Brooks

President & Chief of Operations


85 Rangeway Road, Floor #1

Billerica, MA 01862

(781) 367-9881 - Direct

Full Service Telecom/Datacom Network Infrastructure SOLUTIONS

*Please Note New ICI Address, & Contact Information!

(Late Submission)
Public comments from Walt Lessun:

6. Grants for Expanding Public
Computer Center Capacity: The
Recovery Act directs that not less than
$200,000,000 of the BTOP shall be
awarded for grants that expand public
computer center capacity, including at
community colleges and public
a. What selection criteria should be
applied to ensure the success of this
aspect of the program?

Select the poorest, most isolated Community Colleges and Public Libraries for implementation, then work upwards

b. What additional institutions other
than community colleges and public
libraries should be considered as
eligible recipients under this program?
Whatever is the equivalent of Michigan’s system of Regional Educational Media Centers. At least the REMC serving the western Upper Peninsula already provides a fiber network used for Interactive Television links to Intermediate School Districts, School Districts and school buildings in the service area.

9. Financial Contributions by Grant
Applicants: The Recovery Act requires
that the Federal share of funding for any
proposal may not exceed 80 percent of
the total grant.8 The Recovery Act also
requires that applicants demonstrate
that their proposals would not have
been implemented during the grant
period without Federal assistance.9 The
Recovery Act allows for an increase in
the Federal share beyond 80 percent if
the applicant petitions NTIA and
demonstrates financial need.
a. What factors should an applicant
show to establish the ‘‘financial need’’
necessary to receive more than 80
percent of a project’s cost in grant

Please consider a blanket waiver of the 80/20 proportion. Rural poor do not have dollar matches. Most of us will have to have the grants pay for staffing and equipping and expanding existing facilities to serve a broader public. Some may even have to construct additions to existing buildings to expand capacity.

b. What factors should the NTIA
apply in deciding that a particular
proposal should receive less than an 80
percent Federal share?

Just assume that most applicants will be poor enough to quality for zero match.
VerDate Nov
c. What showing should be necessary
to demonstrate that the proposal would
not have been implemented without
Federal assistance?


11. Reporting and Deobligation: The
Recovery Act also requires that grant
recipients report quarterly on the
recipient’s use of grant funds and
progress in fulfilling the objectives of
the grant proposal.13 The Recovery Act
permits NTIA to de-obligate funds for
grant awards that demonstrate an
insufficient level of performance, or
wasteful or fraudulent spending (as
defined by NTIA in advance), and
award these funds to new or existing
a. How should NTIA define wasteful
or fraudulent spending for purposes of
the grant program?

Rely on applicable state statute definitions or definitions provided by the current edition of Black’s Law Dictionary

b. How should NTIA determine that
performance is at an ‘‘insufficient

Establish minimum operational levels for the public computing centers and request confirmation from the reporter that those minimums were met. Require traffic reports from the internet service providers showing that congestion limits were not exceeded during the reporting period with a natural disaster exemption

c. If such spending is detected, what
actions should NTIA take to ensure
effective use of investments made and
remaining funding?

Regional monitors of the program should be sent to the grantees with specific directions to correct problems.

12. Coordination with USDA’s
Broadband Grant Program: The
Recovery Act directs USDA’s Rural
a. For purposes of the BTOP, how
should NTIA, in consultation with the
FCC, define the terms ‘‘unserved area’’
and ‘‘underserved area?’’

If the area is not served by at least two 100 gig backbones and the right number of 10gig pipelines it’s underserved. If there are no backbones in the service area, it’s unserved.

b. How should the BTOP define
‘‘broadband service?’’

100gig backbones, 10gig pipelines scalable
(1) Should the BTOP establish
threshold transmission speeds for
purposes of analyzing whether an area
is ‘‘unserved’’ or ‘‘underserved’’ and
prioritizing grant awards?


thresholds be rigid or flexible?

Flexible but with rigid minimum requirements

(2) Should the BTOP establish
different threshold speeds for different
technology platforms?

Yes but with minimums

(3) What should any such threshold
speed(s) be, and how should they be
measured and evaluated (e.g., advertised
speed, average speed, typical speed,
maximum speed)? Minimum speeds and maximums capacities scalable as bandwidth is needed

(4) Should the threshold speeds be
symmetrical or asymmetrical?


(5) How should the BTOP consider
the impacts of the use of shared
facilities by service providers and of
network congestion?
Measure public use and measure public satisfaction with support, maintenance and training programs. Network congestion can be managed by the ISP(s) service provider by setting minimally acceptable congestion parameters (redlines) and plans to expand capacity when those minimums are not consistently met on a daily basis

15. Please provide comment on any
other issues that NTIA should consider
in creating BTOP within the confines of
the statutory structure established by
the Recovery Act.

Sustainability of the public computing centers: rural community colleges in Michigan have been doing more with less since the 1970‘s. We have trimmed staff, combined units, slashed budgets. Rural public libraries are systemically underfunded: taxable land is assessed for agricultural value, forested lands are either federal, state (no taxes) or favored enterprise (reduced taxes) owned and most state funding formulae are population based. Where will rural public computing centers get the money to staff themselves, pay for training programs, pay for computing system upgrades, software, maintenance…? How will a return on this investment be measured. How will revenues be generated to continue services past the grant period?
VerDate Nov

(Late Submission)

Attached find State of Arizona - Government Information Technology
Agency (GITA) response to the NTIA RFI.

Galen Updike

Telecommunications Development Manager

Government Information Technology Agency (GITA)

State of Arizona

100 N. 15th Ave, Suite 440

Phoenix, AZ 85007

(602) 364-4794

(Late Submission)
I've attached [1] NARUC's letter signed by 90 commissioners representing 39 states [2] a handout hand-delivered to several NTIA/RUS staff with specific comments from several states [3] two related letters filed in this proceeding by two additional commissions endorsing key aspects of the NARUC filings.

(Late Submission)
FirstMile.US is pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the BTOP and RUS programs.

(Late Submission)
Filing comments in the above referenced docket.

James Groft, CEO
Northern Valley Communications
(605) 725-1000

(Late Submission)
Attached, in both Word (.doc) and Adobe (.pdf) formats, are the comments
of the MSS & ATC Coalition in response to the joint NTIA and RUS request
for information.
> NTIA-RUS Comments.pdf>>

Emily J. H. Daniels | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Tel: 202.663.9378 | Fax: 202.663.8007
2300 N Street, NW | Washington, DC 20037-1122



The contents of this message, together with any attachments, are intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed and may contain information that is legally privileged, confidential and exempt from disclosure. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this message, or any attachment, is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify the original sender or the Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Help Desk at Tel: 800-477-0770 x4860 immediately by telephone or by return E-mail and delete this message, along with any attachments, from your computer. Thank you.

(Late Submission)
To Whom It May Concern:

The comments from 3G Americas 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 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

(Late Submission)
See attachment.

(Late Submission)
Please find attached GVNW's response to the joint request for information.

Please contact me if there are any questions.


Jeffry H. Smith
Vice-President and Division Manager, Western Region
Chairman of the Board of Directors

(Late Submission)
Barbara Brown:

I would like to submit the attached statement on behalf of the National Tribal Telecommunications Association, comprised of the only 8 Indian Tribes (from 563 tribes) that have created their own regulatory telecommunications companies. NTTA is deeply concerned that the Broadband stimulus monies will not reach the communities that need broadband (and voice dialtone) connectivity the most: Indian Tribes. Included in our submission are specific positive recommendations for solutions that will balance out the imperative of the Department of Commerce, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Agriculture to reach the widest population in rural areas with communities that will never benefit from market force or private investment.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With Best Regards,

Eric Jensen
Policy Counsel
National Tribal Telecommunications Association, and,
Four Horizons Development Company
First Tribal Liaison Officer for the Federal Communications Commission
519 Tennessee Ave
Alexandria, VA 22305
(703) 683-3742
pcs: (703) 868-8325

(Late Submission)
On behalf of the NHISPA, attached are our comments for submission in
NTIA/RUS Docket No. 090309298-9299-01. Please contact me if you have any
questions concerning this filing.

Carol Miller
38 Glen Avenue
Berlin NH 03570
V: 603-752-1250 Ext 11
F: 603-752-8134

(Late Submission)
We would love to have any additional information on the "correspondence
list for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP)" as
indicated on the web site for todays webcast. Additionally thanks for
having this on a webcast - we just could not justify flying to DC for an
hour meeting.

Verlyn Veldhouse,
Vice President

Your Total Communications Solution Provider
14910 Grover Street
Suite 300
Direct 402-938-5115
Office 402-597-3333
Fax 402-597-3577
Alternate 800-824-1636

(Late Submission)
Attached please find the comments of Clearwire Corporation.

(Late Submission)
See attached .pdf file

(Late Submission)
Please see attachments.

(Late Submission)
Comments of 71 Concerned Economists
Using Procurement Auctions to Allocate Broadband Stimulus Grants (See Attached file)

(Late Submission)
Comment is over 10,000 characters. Submitting as attachment.

(Late Submission)

NTIA Help Desk
Department of Commerce
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Office of Spectrum Management
Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB)
U.S. Department of Commerce / NTIA, Room 4625
1401 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20230
Office: 202-482-4631

>>> "Kliethermes, Sarah" 4/14/2009 12:47
PM >>>

I submitted the attached Comment yesterday, on behalf of the State of
Missouri, via the email address '' , and wanted
to confirm its inclusion in the record. The current record for the
State of Missouri is illegible.

Thank you,
Sarah L. Kliethermes
MoBar# 60024
Legal Counsel
573 751-6726
Fax 751-9285

From: Kliethermes, Sarah
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2009 2:58 PM
To: ''
Cc: Kliethermes, Sarah; Dietrich, Natelle*; Luebbert, Mary
Subject: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband
Initiatives - Comments of the State of Missouri

Please find attached the comments of the State of Missouri.

Thank you,
Sarah L. Kliethermes
MoBar# 60024
Legal Counsel
573 751-6726
Fax 751-9285

(Late Submission)
Please forward any information available as to time and location of the
Broadband Technology Opportunities Program meetings to be held in
Flagstaff AZ, and Las Vegas, NV. Also please advise if these are open
forums, or if pre-registration is a requirement. If pre-registration is
necessary, please also provide materials required to do so.

Thank you,

Ken Pavloski

Developmental Design Engineer

Advanced Products Group

Pima, Arizona

982-792-2819 Office

982-792-8194 Mobile

(Late Submission)
Comment is an attached document in Word "COAT Comments to NTIA on ARR Broadband Stimulus."

(Late Submission)
Since there has been very limited funds availability for planning
purposes over the last far-too-many years, is there any thought to
funding such planning in the first grant round? In other words, the
'plans' we have are still just dreams. Will we ever have a chance to
see if those dreams can ever be implemented?

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

"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)
On behalf of EvenLink, LLC, we greatly appreciate the NTIA allowing the public to comment on this significant process. Please refer to the attached PDF re: Comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service on Rules for Broadband Grants and Loans

(Late Submission)
Please see the attached comments from CoverageCo.

(Late Submission)
Please put me on the list.

Also, I'd like to attend the public meeting on the 23rd. Do I need to
register, and where?


Darrel Kirkland
Kirkland & Associates

(Late Submission)
See attached document that was submitted by email on April 13, 2009.

(Late Submission)
Comments Being Submitted by the Following Groups:

Michael W. Krajovic, CEcD
President & CEO
Fay-Penn Economic Development Council
Two West Main Street, Suite 407
Uniontown, PA 15401
Phone: 724-437-7913
Fax: 724-437-7315

Andrew P. French, Executive Director
Redevelopment Authority of the
County of Fayette, Pennsylvania
86 West Main Street
Uniontown, Pennsylvania 15401
Phone: 724-437-1547 ext. 210
Fax: 724-437-0731

J. Michael Edwards
Executive Director
Connellsville Redevelopment Authority
124 West Crawford Avenue
Connellsville, PA 15425
724 626 1645

Richard Ellsworth
American Broadband
1321 Connellsville Road
Lemont Furnace, PA 15456
Office: 724-437-1042 ext. 6320
Mobile: 251-753-9061

These groups are in support of the comments that follow.
These comments are for (Docket No. 090309298-9299-01)
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Broadband Initiatives

- Education should be the number one priority for determining deployments, over immediate economic development and commercial interests. School buildings may have broadband capabilities, but children need access at home to do internet research and improve communication between the school and the home. Higher education attainment of students will lead to ‘across the board’ benefits to all levels of businesses, and economic development both in the short and long terms. Deployment areas should coincide with local school districts provided that the school has broadband capabilities.

- Additional priority should be given to projects which will expand service to areas that currently do not have any access to broadband services or areas where the current broadband service is not able to meet a community’s advanced communication service needs. Priority should be given to these types of projects rather than to projects which will simply rebuild existing broadband systems.

- The program must include grant funding to determine:

1. Feasibility study on best technology for a given area that is the most cost-effective.
2. Determine best interface with existing telecom providers, cable companies and others that may already be in small towns and suburbs, but do not provide service to rural and less densely populated areas.
3. Feasibility study for best management, operation and maintenance of the recommended system.
4. If the feasibility study applicant is a for-profit company they must demonstrate that they are working and partnering with local government agencies, local planning office and other non-profit groups that work in the economic development field within that project scope of work.
5. Study for determining price structure for different categories of users.
6. Study for determining total cost for deployment and determine loan/grant combination needed to make the broadband technology affordable to rural households and businesses.
7. Ongoing subscriber fees which should take into consideration per capita incomes.

- Each state should develop a list of consultants who are qualified to address the 7 items above.

- The grant funding for conducting a feasibility study should include small (10%) local match and in some cases, include in-kind matching support.

- Federal regulations should require cooperation by all commercial carriers everywhere to support system expansions, interfaces with existing commercial systems, and for commercial carriers to support local expansions by being willing to function as the broadband systems operating and maintenance company. Commercial companies are quick to install services in densely populated communities, but almost always refuse to deploy in rural areas with limited number of subscribers.

- The broadband deployment program should work similarly to the RUS programs in USDA where each project is analyzed for proper grant and loan ratios based on per capita incomes.

- Thought should be given to strongly encouraging high levels of public participation, but it must also be affordable - $20/month. It will be impossible for local communities to commit to assuming loan obligations without some guarantee to ensure subscribers. Perhaps the subscriber fees could be paid partially by another local taxing body such as a school district or municipality.

- Due to uniqueness of each area, flexibility should be provided to allow for multiple ownership models of local systems such as local government, non-profits, public authorities, local cooperatives, etc.

- Public funds should not be provided freely to existing commercial carriers without proper federal regulations to limit benefits to reasonable rates of return, and ensure maximum benefit for the public good.

- The federal government and the states should consider forming one state public authority for each state to serve as the central coordinating body with certain powers to manage interfaces with existing commercial carriers and to improve deployments via economies of scale and other technical and operating efficiencies. This could be one large rural cooperative/authority.

- The federal government could provide templates for local communities to use as RFP’s for selecting consultants.

- The federal government could provide templates for local communities to form local cooperatives, for contracting with private companies for operating and maintenance, and for interfacing with existing carriers.

- Grant and loan levels to fund broadband systems should range from $250,000 up to $10 million. Engineering fees to final deployments and systems design should be eligible costs. The grant should require a minimum of number of subscribers per investment to help ensure that the largest number of people served for each dollar invested. Small rural towns with higher concentrations of residents and businesses would take precedence.

- For remote locations, satellite hook-ups might be only cost effective alternative, but people could receive federal tax credits as incentives to increase installments and usage.

- Developing a national map should be a priority. The map should provide enough detail to be functionally useful in planning new deployments in underserved areas. GIS level of detail should be standard. Many commercial users have a reputation of providing unreliable data showing geographic coverage’s. Maps should be updated every 5 years. Major commercial carrier for license renewable or perhaps even annually, should be required to submit detailed maps of changes in coverage.

(Late Submission)
On May 19, 2009, John Marinho, Alcatel-Lucent, and John Morabito, NTIA, had a telephone conversation regarding application of the Recovery Act's Buy American provision to the BTOP program. Please see the attached information supporting the view that information and communications technology (ICT) products should not be subject to the provision.

Michael T. McMenamin

(Late Submission)
see attached

(Late Submission)

(Late Submission)
Comments of ATSI Communications is attached below.

(Late Submission)
Response to National EBS Association Comments Regarding Use of 2.5GHz EBS-Based Wireless Broadband Facilities to Achieve BTOP Initiatives (see attachments)

Reference NEBSA Comments:

Brad Bowman

(Late Submission)
Pursuant to the Public Notice published in the March 12, 2009 Federal
Register, attached are the comments of ADTRAN, Inc. on the issue of
defining "broadband," including an Appendix addressing latency and a
detailed analysis of "broadband" in the form of a White Paper published

Stephen L. Goodman

Butzel Long Tighe Patton, PLLC

1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Suite 300

Washington, D.C. 20006

(202) 454-2851 - Office

(202) 607-6756 - Cell

(Late Submission)
I have attempted to submit the attached Comment, from ASSIA Inc. to
the NTIA public comment website at
at approximately 2:30PM EDT today.

Although I received the confirmation notice that is copied below, I
have as of 3:15 not seen ASSIA Inc.'s comment posted on the NTIA
website at
It is my understanding that posted comments should appear on the NTIA
site within several minutes of a successful upload.

To ensure that ASSIA Inc.'s comment is filed timely, I attach a copy
of ASSIA Inc.'s comment to this email as a PDF file along with a copy
of the confirmation message received from the NTIA site.
I would appreciate receiving confirmation of this email and that the
attached file has been received by NTIA and has been properly filed as
a comment for NTIA Docket Number 090309298-9299-01.

Best regards,
Peter Silverman
Director Standards and Technical Marketing
847 475 7667
847 475 5177(fax)

(Late Submission)
Attached please find comments submitted by HierComm, Inc. for the ARRA
Broadband Initiative.

Please refer any questions to:
Mr. Bruce McFadden
Cell: 1-503-709-5455

Or to
Dr. Kenneth Schlager
Tel: 1-262-367-5857

Thank you.

(Late Submission)

Albert Plimpton
IT/Building Manager
Direct: 323.201.5575

This email and any attached files are confidential and intended solely for the intended recipient(s). If you are not the named recipient you should not read, distribute, copy or alter this email. Any views or opinions expressed in this email are those of the author and do not represent those of the Central Basin Municipal Water District company. Warning: Although precautions have been taken to make sure no viruses are present in this email, the company cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage that arise from the use of this email or attachments.

(Late Submission)
see attachment

(Late Submission)
Comments attached.

(Late Submission)
Comments of the City of Boston (Please see attachment)

(Late Submission)
See attachment

(Late Submission)
See Attached

(Late Submission)
See attached file below.

(Late Submission)

Can you please add my email to your correspondence list?

Thank you,

Katie Miller

4400 Carillon Point | Kirkland, WA 98033

P: 425.216.4499 | M: 206.802.8922 |F: 425.216.7776

(Late Submission)
Attached please find comments of the Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance.

Please contact me if you have any questions or require additional information.

Thank you,

Joshua Seidemann

(Late Submission)
Summary Comments:
To ensure transparency and the safety of the public, BTOP projects should require that Grantees engage registered professional engineers, generally to ensure that BTOP funds are used as intended, and especially when necessary to comply with state laws to protect the health and safety of the public.
See complete comments in the attached document.

(Late Submission)
On behalf of U.S. TelePacific Corp., Mpower Communications Corp., and
Arrival Communications Inc., attached are comments for submission in
NTIA/RUS Docket No. 090309298-9299-01.

Please contact Nancy Lubamersky at (510) 995-5602 if you have any
questions concerning this filing.

Marilyn H. Ash, Esq.

Director, Public Policy

U.S. TelePacific Corp./

Mpower Communications Corp.

620 Third Street

San Francisco, CA 94107

Phone: 415-430-3119

Fax: 510-995-5601


(Late Submission)
I am submitting these comments as a series of attachments.

(Late Submission)
Attached are the comments of the TJCOG Cable Broadband Consortium in Docket
No. 090309298-9299-01.

I submitted these comments earlier today via NTIA's web-based comment
submission form but they have not appeared on the NTIA website and I did not
receive conformation via e-mail that NTIA had received them. I am submitting
them again via e-mail to make sure that they are received by NTIA's April 13
deadline. When the website is operational, please let me know what further
steps I should take to make sure that the comments of the TJCOG Cable
Broadband Consortium are viewable via the NTIA website.

Thanks inn advance for your consideration.


Cynthia M. Pols

(Late Submission)
Due to errors in the NTIA web submission process, we are adding a .pdf version.