The NTIA has awarded a $28.6 million BTOP grant to Allegiance Communications to deploy a new fiber optic network over 680 miles in Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The project intends to directly connect more than 70 community anchor institutions to the broadband network, including city halls, police stations, fire stations, libraries, schools, and a hospital.
Allegiance Communications’ network will cover 12,700 households and 230 businesses in the four-state region. It will be the first time wireline broadband service faster than dial-up is offered in most of the affected communities. Allegiance also plans to upgrade communications for public safety organizations to improve storm warning systems and first responder efforts.
NTIA received more than 1,800 applications proposing projects totaling nearly $19 billion during the first BTOP funding round and has just received a second round of BTOP applications requesting $11 billion in funding.
The Recovery Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to NTIA and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to fund projects that will expand access to and adoption of broadband services. Of that funding, NTIA will utilize $4.7 billion for grants to deploy broadband infrastructure in the United States, expand public computer center capacity, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. NTIA will announce all grant awards by September 30, 2010.