Strategic Partnerships, Inc.


Texas broadband funding applications include more than just infrastructure


by Mary Scott Nabers

CEO of Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

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The largest number of applications - 180 - came from California. More than 100 applications were received from Texas, with the requests for funding ranging from thousands to millions of dollars. The applications not only requested funds to assist companies with extending broadband service to rural areas of the state, but also included such items as furniture, computers and laptops, video equipment and more.

Of course, not all of the applications will be approved, and some of those that are approved will not receive as much funding as was requested. But those that do capture funding will open up a myriad of contracting opportunities for a wide variety of products and services. Businesses able to provide these products and services should follow the funding announcements closely.

Following is a sampling of some of the requests submitted for funding from both private sector companies and government entities in Texas:

  • In Lubbock, a private sector firm is seeking $1 million for a public computer center featuring laptops and desktop computers where the public can access the Internet free. The computers would be placed in community facilities in rural areas of West Texas.
  • The City of Grapevine is seeking $316,099 for public safety network improvements by implementing a wireless network to link public safety facilities in the city to increase speed and reliability in accessing public safety applications, for public safety personnel training and to advise the public during emergencies.
  • The Houston Housing Authority is seeking $1.9 million to establish seven Star Learning Centers to offer self-sufficiency programming to the agency's low-income clients using video conferencing and other technology.
  • A technical training company in Conroe is seeking $132,500 to update obsolete equipment in a learning center in a HUD-sponsored apartment complex and to hire staff to install and maintain equipment and teach classes.
  • The City of San Antonio has applied for $10.1 million to leverage fiber optic and wireless technologies to support mobile public safety applications and free public WiFi initiatives.
  • A private communications firm in Balch Springs has asked for $35.9 million to extend its service to provide VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), public safety, telemedicine and telelearning, smart grid, Web-based commerce and more to rural area users and to government and medical facilities, educational institutions, libraries, public safety facilities and community centers via fiber-optic cable and wireless.
  • Dallas County Schools, Inc. has applied for more than $1.5 million to enhance its video-based services, including video conferencing, distance learning, video on demand, video streaming, media retrieval, video curriculum and visual surveillance via high-speed broadband network connectivity.
  • One of the projects for which Harris County is seeking $861,000 in funding is to upgrade T1 lines at 10 libraries and two community centers with broadband and to replace old PCs.
  • Expanding its computer center is the goal of an application for $54,000 from the Corsicana Public Library. The library wants to expand its computer center from 14 to 20 PCs as well as provide new computer equipment and furniture.
  • The Brazos Valley Council of Governments has asked for $21.6 million to provide affordable rates to rural areas and to build an open network with education, local government and medical sites as anchor tenants.
  • A comprehensive menu of broadband services is being sought through an application for $7.8 million from El Paso Community College. Services would include refurbished PCs, PC loan/purchases, marketing/outreach, a community portal, computer literacy training, workforce development and training, technology counseling and small business training.

The information listed above is the type of data gathered as SPI researchers track funding flows in Texas daily. Simply put, the research team follows all types of funding flows and they monitor approved allocations to track upcoming opportunities for companies that compete for government contracts. The goal is to be able to provide a listing of upcoming opportunities as far in advance as possible.