Grant Funding

Does anyone have any good suggestions on grant funding for a network
refresh? NSF?

I'm interested in hearing from anyone that has gotten USDA RUS or similar funding myself.

I'm fairly convinced that with the recent strategies of VZ and ATT they will fully divest themselves of regulated last-mile services as soon as reasonably feasible (exception: cellular) creating further demand/need to bridge the gap.

- Jared

What do you want to know? We were the first NTIA grant announced. $32
million project to build rural *dark* fiber networks. The model was to
form a new company which would be carrier neutral and just build and
maintain rural dark fiber. A carrier's carrier; structural separation;
prices based on cost plus margin, not what the market would bear, open
access, non-discrimination.... This model seemed to resonate with the
Feds. The local incumbents still seem to have a hard time believing we
would get a government subsidy and then immediately give it away. A model
where any carrier, including them, could have access to dark fiber on equal
terms is beyond their ken.


You mean funding to help upgrade your network? Bail outs aside, its
unlikely the NSF or similar entity is going to dole out money for a
network upgrade. That is typically the operating organization's

You might be able to strike a good deal with a new vendor if you're
willing to switch some of your major platforms.

In some cases, if there is something new and novel that isn't part of
the standard operating expense sheet, you may be awarded some funding
for a well articulated proposal, that may just happen to get you some
new gear, because its need for the new thing, but that still requires
some non-trivial investment in coming up with a proposal and
implementing it. However, I think most serious funding organizations
will see through proposals thinly disguised as network upgrade projects.



A belated "good job".


This is similar to what I have been doing research on. I wonder if the cellular coverage outside the I-95 corridor will get better as a result of your efforts...

I really should have gotten fed up with my local [ineffective] incumbents with enough time to develop a similar approach.

I do wonder if the upcoming FCC broadband work will result in a similar policy being adopted. "We're all just overlay networks of the fiber" is a nice approach.

- Jared

You (the OP, not Jared) might also take a look at what the UTOPIA folks have been doing in Utah. It's been a state-funded, not federal-funded, project (I *believe* -- I may be incorrect in the details; I'm not involved and it's been a while since I looked at them), but they've met with some success.