TMCnews Featured Article

September 10, 2009

KeyOn Partners with RidgeviewTel on $150 Million Broadband Stimulus Application

By Erin Harrison, Senior Editor

With the forthcoming announcement of the winning applicants of the federal government’s broadband stimulus funds and the dust settling for the time being, it’s clear that technology companies have often gone through an arduous process as they vie for a piece of the $4 billion pie.
Take, for example, broadband network technology provider RidgeviewTel, which recently assisted KeyOn Communications Holdings, Inc. in its $150 million application for federal broadband stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
KeyOn – one of the largest wireless broadband companies serving rural and underserved markets in the U.S. – also offers satellite video and voice over Internet protocol. KeyOn’s fourth-generation WiMAX project will significantly expand the company’s current network across 11 western and mid-western states, company officials said.
After the deadline closing in August, the federal government said it had received requests for a total of $28 billion from groups that want to expand high-speed Internet service in the U.S. The government has $4 billion in loans and grants initially available. The 2,200 requests came from states, counties, Indian tribes, nonprofits, phone companies, libraries, universities and service providers.
The ARRA designated $7.2 billion to expand broadband access to so-called “unserved” and “underserved” communities across the U.S. and is being administered by the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications Information Administration. Under RUS, the Broadband Initiatives Program will make both loans and grants available for broadband infrastructure in rural areas, and the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program will provide grants to fuel broadband infrastructure, public community centers and sustainable broadband adoption projects across the country.
RidgeviewTel (News - Alert) is a communications, network design and implementation company based in Longmont, Colo. that provides “affordable”, high-speed Internet services to communities and municipalities that are considered underserved by traditional telecom and cable providers.  
“After reviewing several vendors and products, RidgeviewTel provided the best all-around fit for our needs,” said Bob Handell, chief operating officer of KeyOn Communications. “Their software platform, dBOSS, allowed us to simultaneously model a sizeable number of network sites contained in our application and make any site modifications quickly and efficiently. We also derived great benefit from the automated document creation feature. RidgeviewTel’s staff demonstrated remarkable dedication to the task.”
Regardless of the scope of the individual project, the stimulus application process and documentation requirements can be tremendous, company officials said.
dBOSS’s functionality takes into account some of the key criteria and documentation necessary within the applications and accelerates the project completion timeframe. After plotting the desired network coverage area, dBOSS identifies and documents not only the census blocks in a service area, but also determines which contiguous census blocks are served, a key factor in stimulus applications, company officials said. So-called “critical” community anchor institutions and businesses can also be identified and the resulting user-friendly documents are suitable for application criteria.
“Modeling networks is something we do daily with our own clients and networks. The KeyOn project gave us an opportunity to see the capacity of our team and systems. We enjoyed working with the KeyOn team and, more importantly, are glad they valued our work,” said Vince Jordan, RidgeviewTel’s CEO, in a statement.
The NTIA and RUS will pick the winning applicants and announce them in November.

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Erin Harrison is a Senior Editor with TMC. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison