Broadband Technology Opportunities Program


  • GS Interactive


  • Washington DC

Issue/Opportunity: The Recovery Act appropriated $4.7 billion in federal funding to NTIA to develop the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) – which involved a grant program to fund three types of projects: a) infrastructure across unserved communities; b) sustainable adoption programs; c) public computer centers.

NTIA had to set up this competitive grant program from scratch. This included the policies to determine: eligible service area (e.g., unserved area); types of broadband projects (e.g., last and/or middle-mile); eligibility factors; compliance mandates; etc.

NTIA also had to develop the application, market the program to attract many applications to find the most attractive project, and follow through on program management.

Solution: Sandeep had been one of the first seven people hired at NTIA to design and implement the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. He was a member of the federal team. Sandeep developed a scoring framework within the first 60 days that evaluated all the key factors, including eligible service area; appropriate financial match; applicant track record; financial sustainability; technology life; detailed solutions; eligible costs; etc.

Sandeep also authored the application which had been a dual-federal agency application in partnership with USDA. He visited several regions of the country to stimulate interest and managed a team that reviewed one-third of the applications representing billions in funding requests.

Results: NTIA made $3.5 billion in funding awards, broken across two funding rounds, within 18 months of authorization legislation.

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