Recovery Act Broadband Initiatives Program
Notice: The RUS Broadband Initiatives Program Webinar for BIP Awardees which took place on October 13, 2011 is now available online.
Click here to view the presentation (PDF).
The Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) was established in response to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The primary goal of the Recovery Act was to provide a fiscal boost to the nation during the economic crisis. Providing access to broadband services will increase economic development and improve the quality of life for all Americans. BIP funding for loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations will assist with addressing the challenge of rapidly expanding the access and quality of broadband services across rural America and to meet the objectives of the Recovery Act.
By September 30, 2010 there were 320 awards obligated that total $3.529 billion. The total awards were 285 last-mile projects that total over $3 billion, the 12 middle-mile awards total $172.6 million, four satellite awards for $100 million, and 19 technical assistance awards for over $3.4 million. Awards were made in 45 states and one territory.
The awards will provide access to 2.8 million households, 364,000 businesses, and 32,000 anchor institutions across more than 300,000 square miles. The projects also overlap with 31 tribal lands and 125 persistent poverty counties. The projects will create more than 25,000 immediate and direct jobs and are expected to contribute to the long-term economic development opportunities in each rural community where a broadband project is launched.
The BIP Satellite Program provides financial incentives for private satellite companies to offer satellite broadband connections to users in rural locations where terrestrial broadband services are not available. RUS has established a tool which members of the public can use to receive an initial determination as to whether they may be eligible for the program. The tool cannot provide a final determination on eligibility because the tool cannot account for all areas in the country which have access to existing terrestrial broadband service If the tool says you may be eligible, you should contact one of the satellite providers for your region to determine further eligibility for the program. This tool is available at: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do
* For current information regarding applications, awards, reporting, and important documents please click here.
The following entities were eligible to apply for assistance:
- States, local governments, or any agency subdivision, instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof
- A territory or possession of the United States
- An Indian tribe, as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b)
- A native Hawaiian organization
- A non-profit foundation, a non-profit corporation, or a non-profit association
- Other non-profit entities
- For profit corporations
- Limited liability companies; and organizations
- Cooperative or mutual organizations
This was a one-time program that is now closed.
- Construction or improvement of all facilities required to provide broadband service, including facilities required for providing other services over the same facilities, and including equipment to comply with CALEA
- For the cost of leasing facilities required to provide broadband service if such lease qualifies as a capital lease under GAAP. Award funds may be used to fund the cost of a capital lease no longer than the first three years after the date of the award documents, and:
- For reasonable pre-application expenses in an amount not to exceed five percent of the award. Pre-application expenses may be reimbursed if they are incurred after the publication date of the NOFA.
- For current information regarding applications, awards, reporting, and important documents please see the BIP Resource Page .
If you have any questions, contact us at BIP@wdc.usda.gov