Wednesday, July 22, 2009

NYC Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Funding Meeting

On Tuesday, July 28, 2009 from 6-8 PM at DCTV’s Third Floor Conference Room (located at 87 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10013) Council Member Gale A. Brewer invites all members of the New York City technology community to discuss the recently released Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding that has been made available through the federal stimulus package which passed in February 2009. The purpose of this event is to help galvanize interested applicants around common goals. Please distribute this invitation widely and invite all pertinent stakeholders to attend.

Please contact Kunal Malhotra [] or Sam Wong [] at (212) 788-6975 if you have any questions and suggestions.

From Council Member Gale A. Brewer

July 24, 2009

Dear Friend,

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was enacted
by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on
February 17, 2009, to stimulate the national economy and invigorate
neglected industries that directly affect the nation’s competitive
edge. Included in this stimulus package is the $7.2 billion Broadband
Technology Opportunities Program, also known as BTOP. The National
Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) released
rules (also known as notice of funds availability, NOFA) for the BTOP
governing process July 1, 2009.

In an effort to involve the entire technology and not-for-profit
community, I would like to encourage your participation in a meeting
on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 6 PM. At this meeting, we would like to
work with a number of organizations to connect with other institutions
and collaborate on a general plan for New York City’s BTOP

The application for the grants was released on July 9, 2009, and is
due by 5 PM on August 14, 2009. After a thorough review, the NTIA
will announce the finalists in September 2009 and will dole out the
funds in November 2009. The NTIA expects the project to be completed
within two to three years of the award date. The first of three
funding rounds will provide about $1.6 billion in competitive grants
to all fifty states.

Here is the breakdown for NTIA’s $1.6 billion BTOP [NOFA 527-545]
* $1.2 billion allocated to provide last- and middle-mile services to
unserved and underserved areas;
* $50 million for computer centers;
* $150 million to drive broadband demand; and
* $200 million in discretionary funding to spread among the
aforementioned categories, when in need;

Also included in the definitions for unserved and underserved areas.
For "last mile" funding purposes in New York City, an underserved area
can be designated by meeting one of three criteria:
* No more than 50 percent of households have access to facilities-
based terrestrial broadband;
* No fixed or mobile provider advertises speeds of at least 3 megabits
per second (Mbps);
* The rate of subscribership is 40 percent or less.

The NTIA’s Notice of Funds Availability for the BTOP program aims at
access and implementation of net neutrality. "Without a non-
discrimination condition, network operators could give preferential
treatment to affiliated services, or charge some application and
content providers for ‘fast lanes’ that would put others at a
competitive disadvantage," the notice said. Furthermore, applicants
can deploy nondiscrimatory network management methods and offer
managed services that use private connections, such as telemedicine,
public safety communications, and distance learning.

The application process is ranked on a 100-point system. The rubric
is outlined in the following way:
1. Project Purpose (30 points)
2. Project Benefits (25 points)
3. Project Viability (25 points)
4. Project Budget and Sustainability (20 points)

For more information on this breakdown, please log on to
and click on the "Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Broadband
Initiatives Program and Broadband Technology Opportunities Program".
Read through lines 1410 through 1593.

To that, we would like to join us for a brief meeting regarding BTOP
on Tuesday, July 28, 2009 at 6 PM. The location will in Manhattan
and you will be notified about the location very soon. Please contact
Kunal Malhotra, Budget and Legislation Director, at (212) 788-6975 or
at if you have any questions or would like
attend the NYC BTOP meeting.

These grants are all competitive. We hope that groups will partner so
to be successful in bringing projects to the five boroughs.


Gale A. Brewer