American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) LogoGood news today for service providers planning to file an electronic application for either the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) or Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). The deadline for electronic applications has been extended from 5 p.m. ET on August 14, 2009 to 5 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on August 20, 2009. This extension has been granted because the online application system, known as EasyGrants®, has not been able to keep up with the applicant volume. The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) have added additional servers to deal with the unexpected traffic.

It should be noted that the applicant must have an application pending in the system as of 5 p.m. ET on August 14, 2009 to take advantage of the electronic filing extension.

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).