UPDATE: Pending broadband applications have until Aug. 20

The Rural Utilities Services (RUS) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have posted a joint notice indicating that any pending applications as of 5 p.m. ET on August 14, 2009 will be granted an extension.

RUS and NTIA announce that the application closing deadline for the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) and the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) is extended until 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on August 20, 2009, for any electronic applications pending as of 5 p.m. ET on August 14, 2009. There are no changes to the filing instructions for paper applications.

The notice goes on to say that over the last several days, the online application system, known as the Easygrant System, used for BTOP and BIP funds has experienced service delays due to the volume of activity from potential applicants. Mark Tolbert, spokesperson for NTIA, said “We heard there were complaints coming from applicants and noticed the system was slow.”

To help combat the capacity issue, agencies have added additional servers. Anyone with an application pending in the Easygrants System as of 5 p.m. ET will be given until 5 p.m. ET on August 20, 2009 to complete the electronic submission.

Again, from the notice:

Please note that an applicant must have completed the following steps, at a minimum, to be recognized as having a pending application in the Easygrants® System:

1. Log into the Easygrants® System at www.broadbandusa.gov;
2. Select “Start a new application” under “Apply for a new grant/loan;”
3. Select one of the two choices for available funding opportunities;
4. Select “Continue;” and
5. Select “ok” when prompted “Are you sure you want to apply for the program.”

Mr. Tolbert indicated the agencies would have ongoing vigilence of the situation. “We’ll continue to monitor the situation as we go along,” he said.

More information will be posted as it becomes available. To read the notice, click here.

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