American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) LogoThe Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have officially posted a BIP / BTOP Application Mapping Tool. You may remember that this information was available for a short time before being pulled off the RUS website. One of the intentions of this tool is to provide a 30 day period for public responses to the proposed projects. Browsing the list projects is a simple process and provides fairly detailed information including proposed service areas broken down by county. In order to file a response to a proposal, you must register for an "eAuthentication ID with level 1 access." Additionally, the mapping tool requires Microsoft Silverlight.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated $7.2 billion to “expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities across the U.S., increase jobs, spur investments in technology and infrastructure, and provide long-term economic benefits.” The funds are being administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).