Today, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) updated their joint application portal (www.broadbandusa.gov) to display the details of the proposed service areas for all applicants seeking broadband stimulus funding. Each broadband application has been assigned a Public Notice Filing (PNF) that includes the maps of the proposed service area as well as lists the communities and census blocks within that area.
In addition, NTIA and RUS have created a portal for existing service providers to file a response challenging the validity of representations made by the applicant regarding the unserved or underserved status of the proposed service area. The following is the link to this portal: http://broadbandsearch.sc.egov.usda.gov/LegalNoticeFiling/List.Aspx?program=ARRA. In order to file a response, an existing service provider must create a user identification and password, the process for which is explained at: http://broadbandsearch.sc.egov.usda.gov/DefaultARRA.aspx.
PNFs are listed by applicant name; however NTIA and RUS have created a searchable database of all submitted applications by state, program type, funding source and keyword, which is available here: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/broadbandgrants/applications/search.cfm.
The 30-day window for existing service providers to file a response will close on October 28, 2009. Existing service providers are under no obligation to file a response but must do so in order for their existing services to be considered by NTIA and RUS when they determine whether the proposed service area is eligible for broadband stimulus funding.