Praxis CEO Michael Ort, whose company is spearheading the Digital 395 broadband infrastructure project, found out earlier this week that the company was awarded the final chunk of funding needed to start work on the fiberoptic data superhighway project.
In a statement issued Wednesday morning, Ort and the California Broadband Cooperative (CBC), the non-profit organization that will own and operate D395 said the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) awarded a broadband infrastructure investment grant to the CBC.
The grant, totaling $81.1 million, will fund the construction of the D395 middle-mile fiberoptic network between Barstow, Calif., and Carson City, Nev. The NTIA grant contributes up to 80% of the total project funding. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Praxis Associates, the project’s private partner, will provide the remaining funds. In December 2009, the California Public Utilities Commission, through its California Advanced Services Fund, awarded the project up to $19.3 million in state matching funds, entirely eliminating that burden from county and local governments. Inyo, Kern and Mono counties did, however, provide what Ort called “essential in-kind support” to the project as it was being developed for application.
Read more about the project’s funding and its future in this weekend’s edition of The Sheet and online here at www.thesheetnews.com.