New Broadband Grant Winners

New Broadband Grant Winners

Four broadband stimulus applicants were awarded grants this week. This week’s activity drives the total number of awards to 23 projects totaling $253 million.
Winners include:

Merit Network in Michigan
$33 million to build a 955 mile extension to an existing fiber optic backbone for local research universities to reach low-service areas, enabling broadband access for schools, libraries and health care facilities.

Merit Network is a nonprofit, member-owned organization formed in 1966 to design and implement a computer network between public universities in Michigan. The extended project will link 44 communities covering almost 900,000 households.

MCNC in North Carolina
$28.2 billion (with an addition $11.7 million in matching funds) to build a 494 so-called “middle mile” network that will ultimately pass almost half the state’s population.

MCNC owns and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network, which was created to bring high-speed broadband internet to state schools, universities and community-anchor institutions. The new network will include new fiber rings and connect to 685 miles of existing infrastructure.

The University of Massachusetts at Lowell
$895,000 for broadband adoption.

Michigan State University
$895,000 for a public computing center.

The grants were made by the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, or NTIA, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and awarded under the NTIA's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP).

Last week, the NTIA announced a second round of broadband stimulus applications will be accepted through March 15, 2010, modifying application rules in the process.