As Minnesota Public Radio pointed out earlier this week, so far only two of the 50 or so applications for construction funds from ARRA broadband stimulus pools have been successful. One of the frustrating aspects of the application process has been the fact that little to no feedback has been given to those who have applied and not been successful.
This frustration is magnified by the fact that many of us are applying again. (Blandin has been fortunate enough to have been contacted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to provide more information on their application, but they will not know if they have received funding until after the deadline for Round Two funding has passed.)
How do you reapply when you don’t know how close you were the first time, or what aspects of your project did not appeal to grantors?
I was able to glean a little bit of information from the MPR story…
Federal officials aren’t offering a lot of details on why Lake County lost out while others got money. Rural Utilities Service administrator Jonathan Adelstein says in general, the government is looking to help the most rural parts of the nation.
“We emphasized projects that would be able to bring high band width, very high quality service to unserved or underserved rural areas that had a possibility of being there for many years to come,” said Adelstein.
Adelstein says one reason the southwest Minnesota project was picked was because it will build on an established business. The city of Windom, which is included in the project, has operated its own fiber optics system for about five years.