From: Massachusetts Broadband Institute <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 26, 2010 1:52:09 PM EST
Subject: Massachusetts Broadband Institute BTOP Update
Bridging the Digital Divide
FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDING UPDATE
January 26, 2010
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute has been informed by the U.S. Department of Commerce that the applications of the Massachusetts Broadband Institute (MBI) and WesternMA Connect are no longer in the running for federal stimulus awards in Round 1 under the BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunities Program). While we are very disappointed by this development, we will work to ensure the Round 2 applications are ultimately approved. Our commitment to broadband connectivity is unwavering, and bringing this vital resource to the unserved and underserved regions of western Massachusetts remains one of our highest economic development priorities.
We recognize that it has been a challenge for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to implement these new broadband stimulus programs under the Recovery Act quickly. The MBI put forward a strong application detailing opportunities for significant job creation, business growth and educational advancement. We are convinced the MBI made a credible and compelling case when scored against the NTIA’s own criteria. Our commitment to broadband expansion in western Massachusetts remains strong. We are currently pulling fiber-optic cable along 55 miles of I-91, and this work will continue to serve as a critical component of our network in western Massachusetts. With state funds already available under Governor Patrick’s Broadband Act, we are working aggressively to determine how best to move forward in the absence of immediate federal stimulus funding for broadband. While we are unhappy about today’s news, we will make access to affordable, quality broadband a reality for the residents of western Massachusetts.