April 16, 2021—CBN’s next Zoom breakfast is on Friday, April 16th at 8:30am EDT. We will be hearing from Scott Zuchorski Managing Director and Head of North America Infrastructure and Project Finance for Fitch Ratings. Scott will be briefing us on the current state of play in the financing of broadband infrastructure, with a particular focus on municipal and public-private partnership deals.
New: National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) https://cornell.infoready4.com/#competitionDetail/1835420 The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program within the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) offers researchers the opportunity to transform new knowledge into societal benefits through translational research and technology development efforts which catalyze partnerships to accelerate innovations that address significant societal needs.
Deadlines: Internal Submission Deadline-Wednesday, May 5, 2021; Funding Organization's Deadline-Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Anticipated award amount: PFI-TT up to $250,000 for 18-24 months. PFI-RP up to $550,000 for 36 months.
Letter to FCC: “As we begin the 117th Congress, completing accurate broadband maps remains a top priority in our ongoing efforts to close the digital divide. Almost a year has passed since Congress enacted Senator Wicker’s bipartisan Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act. This law reformed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) broadband data collection and mapping process to create more accurate and granular broadband availability maps. Congress also provided the FCC with $98 million to fund this effort. With so many Americans still lacking high-speed broadband, we are concerned that delays in completing these maps could lead to further delays in distributing critical broadband funds.” Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen John Thune (R-SD), Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep Bob Latta (R-OH), March 8, 2021.
“States Couldn't Afford to Wait for the FCC's Broadband Maps to Improve-So They Didn't”, Shara Tibken, CNET, February 23, 2021. Georgia, Maine, Pennsylvania and others took mapping into their own hands, building their own granular data to pinpoint gaps in internet coverage and apply for federal funding. (This story is part of Crossing the Broadband Divide, CNET's coverage of how the country is working toward making broadband access universal.)