Broadband Stimulus: Application Deadline Now Aug. 20

Maybe all that speculation that few organizations would make the Aug. 14 broadband stimulus application deadline was bogus.

Turns out, so many companies and other entities are trying to submit their documents by tomorrow’s cut-off times that government servers can’t keep up.

So, the Obama Administration has extended the deadline another week, to Aug. 20. However, the reprieve only goes for organizations submitting their applications electronically. Those sending in paper copies still must meet tomorrow’s 5 p.m. Eastern deadline for Rural Utilities Service loans and grants, and 11:59 p.m. Eastern for National Telecommunications and Information Administration grants.

Independent telecom consultant Craig Settles said in a prepared statement Thursday’s deadline extension proves stimulus programs “are going to be wildly popular” and that the government needs to upgrade its computer infrastructure, soon, “to handle these surges of demand.”

“On the flip side,” he added, “the administration needs to do a reality check and come to grips with the fact that the changes they’re bringing requires more time to prep for by IT than they’re giving with these high-pressure deadlines. Otherwise, 21st-Century public policy implementation is going to suffer at the consoles of 20th-Century technology.”

All in all, $7.2 billion is up for grabs to build broadband networks to unserved and underserved areas of the United States.

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