Bloosurf and The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA):
The ARRA was signed into law by President Obama in February 2009. It directed $4.7 billion to The National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA/DoC) and $2.5 billion to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to promote the penetration of Broadband in rural areas of our country. The grants/loans are scheduled to be distributed in two rounds before September 2010.
In August 2009, Bloosurf submitted an application to both NTIA and RUS to expand the current network in Worcester and to cover as well Somerset County. Bloosurf was not selected in this first round nor any such project in Maryland. Bloosurf has learned a lot in this process and was then ready for the second and final round.
In March this year Bloosurf submitted again two applications to promote penetration of Broadband on the Eastern Lower shore of Maryland.
- the first one submitted within the program "Sustainable Broadband Adoption" or SBA (NTIA), is intended to allow Bloosurf to work with the County of Worcester to provide mini note books, free installation and CPEs, and discounted subscriptions rates to families in need with children in grade 6-12 and located within the 15 communities currently served by Bloosurf (see current coverage map).
- the second one submitted with the "Broadband Initiative Program" or BIP (RUS), is intended to provide affordable high speed internet to 90% of the population, businesses and anchor institutions in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. The proposed network that will be made possible thanks to strategic local partnerships with these counties and the local Universities shall combine a fixed and mobile high speed Internet Wimax network for the largest 14 communities, with a state of the art, cost efficient and environment friendly Wi-fi network optimized for purely rural areas.
On the 13th of September 2010 Bloosurf was awarded by USDA/RUS a $3.2M loan/grant to deploy the above mentioned network (see planned coverage map hereafter).