The National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Rural Utilities Service have launched a new Web site for broadband stimulus fund applicants that helps them find partners for broadband projects.
The NTIA and RUS say the BroadbandMatch service will help applicants combine expertise and create stronger proposals.
"In the first funding round, many applicants wanted to form partnerships but didn't know how best to locate other organizations with similar aims and complementary resources," said NTIA administrator Lawrence Strickling. "BroadbandMatch is a tool to help stakeholders collaborate, which can spur the highest-caliber, most-effective proposals for this crucial Recovery Act funding."
Any organization interested in applying for funding under NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program or RUS’ Broadband Initiatives Program can post a profile. Profiles include information about the contribution applicants can make to a broadband project, and the site allows users to search for other stakeholders whose skills and resources match their needs.
"It's like a matchmaking service where interested parties can discover each other to pursue their mutual interests," said RUS administrator Jonathan Adelstein. "It will help in locating community partners and establishing new relationships that will foster better broadband service in areas of the country that really need it."
For example, a broadband infrastructure provider might partner with community institutions like universities, hospitals or libraries on a proposal to bring high-speed Internet service to their facilities.
RUS and NTIA plan to announce the rules for the final funding round of the BTOP and BIP programs in the coming weeks.