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MMTC Issues List of Minority Contractors For Broadband Stimulus Applicants

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council has issued its initial list of minority broadband contractors it wants broadband stimulus money applicants to consider using.

The Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service has a built-in preference for small disadvantaged businesses (SDBs), though it is only one point out of a hundred, while the NTIA has a less defined preference, saying it will give "substantial consideration" to SDB's, according to David Honig, executive director of MMTC.

Together the two agencies are handing out $7.2 billion in broadband rollout grants and loans.

To help the businesses on the list get a chunk of that change, MMTC blasted the list to all the potential applications it could identify, said Honig, as well as municipalities and government outreach offices.

Honig says the list is not necessarily a one-stop shopping list for subcontractors, pointing out that the National Black Chamber of Commerce has its own list. "But it is a good place to start," he says, for everything from broadband deployment and computer centers to broadband mapping.

The stimulus money is intended to be used not just for plant rollout, but for adoption and education to help boost take-up rates where there is already broadband available.

The first round of bids on the first tranche of funds is due Aug. 14 at 5 p.m. NTIA plans to announce the awards on Nov. 7.