Now that we’ve finished up the public comment portion of our broadband stimulus show, word comes down from D.C. that they’re moving straight from comment to “Here are your rules for applying for grants.” No additional time to digest what everyone has been telling RUS and NTIA, no response back to the public with their reaction on the comments.
This doesn’t surprise me. As I’ve said in many commentaries over the past couple of weeks, RUS and NTIA are under too much pressure and have too little time or resources for a leisurely process to unfold. In large part, this race initially is going to the swift who happen to have (hopefully) a strong plan.
To help you get your act together, I’m doing two things the week of April 13. First is a Webinar on Tuesday that takes a critical look at what you should be doing while NTIA/RUS write the rules so you have a decent shot at some of these broadband grants. The Webinar focuses not only on how to prepare a strong grant application, but also how to fund the network operations not paid for by the grant.
Later in the week I’m releasing a Municipal Broadband Snapshot report that gives some specific guidelines for strengthening your broadband grant strategy. 10 communities of various types that have broadband networks in place are interviewed in a virtual roundtable to give you the “insiders” perspective on critical questions that will help shape your proposal. Look for “Fighting the Next Good Fight: A planning guide” here – http://www.successful.com/msp/reports.html.
Stay tune for more details as the show continues.