Sunday, July 22, 2012

BTOP Report Released

The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) 13th Quarterly Program Status Report detailing activities from January to March 2012 was sent to Congress and released June 2012. NTIA has invested $4 billion in 233 BTOP projects and supported 123 infrastructure projects totaling $$3.5 billion in Federal grants to construct broadband networks.

From January to March 2012, BTOP grant recipients continued to demonstrate strong performance across the program’s FY 12 goals. Significant progress has been made in areas such as new fiber-optic infrastructure construction since more than 12,000 network miles have been deployed during the past quarter. NTIA expects the pace of network construction to remain strong through the summer as most recipients are engaged in the implementation phase of their projects.

BTOP is working on infrastructure projects that focus on connecting anchor institutions, such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety facilities. Last quarter, BTOP improved service to nearly 2,000 anchor institutions within their project areas bringing the total number of institutions to 8,300 across 40 states. The total number of anchors connected with BTOP funds increased by more than 30 percent from the previous quarter. This quarter, NTIA was able to reach 83 percent of the FY 12 goal to connect 10,000 institutions.

Additionally through the State Broadband Initiative (SBI), NTIA granted $293 million in BTOP funds to 56 recipients that included one grant for each of the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia.

SBI consists of the State Broadband Data and Development Program and the National Broadband Map. NTIA works with SBI grant recipients to help expand their data collection efforts and improve data accuracy and validation. SBI recipients will continue to collect new data every six months from 1,800 broadband providers nationwide.

Last February, funding was provided through legislation to provide for a nationwide public safety broadband network. The legislation calls for establishing the First Responder Network Authority or “FirstNet” as an independent authority within NTIA and charges FirstNet with the building, deployment, and operation of the network.