ICF is helping the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) implement the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. This program provides the grants and loans that make broadband infrastructure possible throughout rural America.
To support the grants application process for this enormous effort, ICF designed and implemented extensive application review and eligibility determination processes—starting from scratch and becoming fully operational within two weeks of contract award—and earning praise from the Undersecretary for Rural Development. ICF has reviewed more than 2,000 applications requesting several billion dollars in funding to assess both the financial and technical feasibility of the plans.
In addition, ICF’s geospatial analysts overlaid applicant-drawn maps with multiple data sources to determine if applications meet service area eligibility requirements (e.g., requirements pertaining to unserved areas, rural areas, etc.). ICF has provided reporting support throughout program implementation, as well as assistance with communications and outreach, environmental review, and post-award activities. RUS made over $3.5B in awards, and ICF is assisting RUS with the oversight of post-award project implementation.
ICF is assisting RUS with the oversight of post-award project implementation for more than 200 awards made under the BIP program. Activities include post-award monitoring, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental project reviews, engineering support, project-specific site visits, satellite program monitoring, program reporting, communications and outreach, and training and technical assistance to awardees.
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