CTC Technology & Energy
$1.5 Billion in New Grant Funding Available from Economic Development Administration for Broadband & Other Projects
The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act added $1.5 billion to an existing grant program of the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA). This is a significant opportunity, both because of the size of the allocation and its breadth of eligibility. The grants are available to local and state governments, non-profits, and other non-commercial entities that have a compelling case for using infrastructure projects (including broadband initiatives) to ameliorate the economic effects of the coronavirus crisis.
As the nation prepares to ride out a pandemic that will persist for months, the need is acute for fast and inexpensive broadband rollout. It’s important to know that you have options to deploy new facilities – options that can be exercised in days or weeks, not years. Last week, we shared some ideas for using fiber, mmWave, and Wi-Fi to get services to the unserved.
The Broadband Lifeline in a Pandemic: Strategies for Provisioning Broadband to Temporary Emergency Sites
I’ll describe a way for your community to meet ar critical need – service to ad hoc emergency sites like surge hospital locations, triage centers, and even parking lots where mass testing or treatment may occur. And there will be a need for service to other ad hoc locations, like temporary housing sites for emergency and health care workers or national guard personnel. All of these will require broadband, fast, both for public needs and to support first responders and health care workers.
How Smart Strategy and Rigorous Analysis Enable Boston to Save While Effectuating City and Public Broadband Needs
Like most cities, Boston (MA) needs an expanded fiber optic network to serve the fast-growing needs of City schools, police, and other departments—plus a range of applications like public safety cameras. Boston understood its needs—but needed more clarity on its choices. Would it be possible to affordably lease all the fiber it might need for decades to come? Or should it build its own fiber—expanding the existing City network known as BoNET?
A hundred bucks. That’s what the Federal Communications Commission recently decided is adequate compensation to your locality for processing a small cell application. In many cases, it’s not going to be enough. And if your actual costs are indeed higher than $100, you will effectively be forced by the new FCC rules to subsidize the telecommunications industry—unless you can build a strong and reasonable case for why your actual, documented costs are higher and should be recovered by your community.
How Localities Can Prepare for—and Capitalize on—the Coming Wave of Public Safety Network Construction
In the coming months, localities around the nation can expect to begin receiving a flood of applications to construct the first of hundreds—perhaps thousands—of new telecommunications towers up to 300 feet high, plus applications to attach hundreds of thousands of “small cell” wireless devices on buildings, utility poles, and new structures. A major driver of this activity is FirstNet, the federal organization overseeing the deployment of a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). These developments will bring clear public safety benefits.