What a difference 14 days makes. Just two weeks ago, xchange – along with its like-minded brethren – reported the feds had pushed out the date for awarding the first round of broadband stimulus funds to some time in December.
Well, that deadline has been pushed back yet again.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said late last week it plans to name broadband stimulus recipients by the end of this year, but won’t actually distribute the money until December.
The original timeline called for the grants and loans to be in the hands of service providers, municipalities, educational institutions and other entities by Dec. 31. However, NTIA and its sister agency, Rural Utilities Service, said they received too many complex applications and more requests for funding than expected. Only about $4 billion is available in this first round (and there’s only going to be one more round, officials have announced).
Whatever. Our souls are so deadened by broken expectations that this whole stimulus program – with its decidedly unstimulating impact so far – is starting to feel like a Greek tragedy. Sisyphus comes to mind.