The scaffolding is emerging for the broadband stimulus funding – starting with the webcast yesterday between NTIA, USDA FCC and others.
All signs point to an emphasis on local involvement. The stimulus bill mentions getting support from states. The Daily Yonder just ran a story that talked about a report on USDA RUS grants in 4 communities. They found that local involvement played a larger role in forecasting success with a project. So it would make sense for the RUS to get local involvement.
I have seen several groups forming to get ready for funding or at least a proposal for funding.
Illinois has built a stimulus web site – not just for broadband but to explore opportunities for all stimulus projects.
The American Library Association is publishing tips on how libraries can prepare to request funding.
I know that in Minnesota, a Facebook group and email list have emerged to discuss opportunities. I’d be interested in learning about any other groups (especially in Minnesota) that are actively getting folks to get their broadband ducks in order to submit some proposals. And as Bernadine Joselyn points out in an earlier comment, “The Blandin Foundation is thinking about ways to jump start these conversations, especially across communities. Send us your ideas.”
You can see what kind of funding is going to become available in Minnesota.