Broadband Applications Crash Federal Systems - InformationWeek

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Commentary
8/13/2009
04:48 PM
Michael Hickins
Michael Hickins
Commentary
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Broadband Applications Crash Federal Systems

Federal agencies handling applications for broadband stimulus grants have been forced to extend the deadline for applications because their online systems have buckled under the strain.

Federal agencies handling applications for broadband stimulus grants have been forced to extend the deadline for applications because their online systems have buckled under the strain.Applications were due by 5 PM eastern on Friday August 14, 2009, but the system converting applications into PDF-formatted documents has slowed to the point of being unusable.

As a result, both the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utility Service (RUS) have given applicants an extra week, until Thursday August 20 at 5 PM, to complete the application process.

However, only applicants who have begun the process by the original deadline are eligible for the extension.

NTIA spokesman Mark Tolbert said in an email that "Due to the volume of potential applicants using the online application system, the system is moving more slowly than we would like. We are taking steps to address this, but we also thought a limited extension of the application deadline would be fair to the public."

Craig Settles, president of broadband strategy consultants Successful.com, said the Obama Administration has tried to move more quickly than the government's own technology infrastructure will allow. "You had an administration for eight years that could give a rat's behind about technology. With that kind of leadership, you end up with agencies that don't have modern technology," he told me.

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