Technology Community 
March/April 2000 edition

 

The Colorado BeanPole Fund, an Overview

 Guest Author: Flo Raitano, Director, Colorado Rural Development Council

 HB 99-1102 was introduced during the 1999 legislative session. Its purpose was to create a pilot program that would demonstrate the effectiveness of demand aggregation strategy in enticing the deployment of advanced technology infrastructure into the sparsely populated and somewhat costly frontier territory of rural Colorado. The Legislative Intent declared encouragement of private sector investment and also the public sector as "anchor tenant." This "anchor tenant" concept had been introduced years earlier in then Lieutenant Governor Sam Cassidy's Telecommunications Infrastructure Task Force "Report to the People of Colorado."

Signed into law by Governor Bill Owens, this bill established a pool of $5 million to be used in concert with the state's Multi-use Network strategy to place Aggregated Network Access Points (ANAPs) in over 70 locations throughout the entire state. Again, the concept was to provide incentive to local communities to work together to pool telecommunications demand and to develop comprehensive community plans based on current, near-term and longer-term telecommunications and technology needs. The legislation further specifies that communities should explore all options and therefore does not limit the use of support funds to existing infrastructure technologies.

Beanpole funds can be used to contract services delivered over any reliable technology capable of transmitting at high speeds, voice, video and data traffic. It also ensures that these services are contracted from private sector telecommunications vendors and will not support any system that is owned, operated or managed by a public entity.

In late September, early October, of 1999, the first round of Technical Assistance grants was made available in a competitive application process. Four communities were awarded Advanced TA support and three communities were given Basic TA support grants. The Advanced communities (Morgan County, Northwest Colorado, Southwest Colorado and the San Luis Valley) will have submitted Community Infrastructure Network Implementation Plans (CINIPs) by February 15th in order to be eligible to apply for Implementation funds. The Basic grant communities (Sedgwick County, Summit County and the Central Eastern Plains) will be completing their Community Strategic Telecommunications Plans by March 15th.

Implementation funds will be distributed to at least two of the Advanced communities based on several criteria contained in the Beanpole Bill. Those include proximity to where the MNT project is being implemented first; those communities with highest likelihood of success; and a community selection process that is open to all interested private sector vendors. These implementation funds (up to $2.5 million per regional community) can be used over a two-year period to purchase advanced telecommunications broadband services from a private sector vendor. Beanpole funds may not be used for infrastructure, switches, end-user equipment, buildings or personnel.

[For more information, visit the project website at ruraltelecon.org/beanpole.]


 Headlines from the March/April edition of Technology Community

Page 2 Rural America Needs Broadband Technology

Page 3 Governors Create High Tech Council of States, Technology Firms and Universities

Page 4 Intellectual Property Rights Us Public Access

Page 5 Advanced Vehicle Technologies

Page 6  OUT IN FRONT Testing Memory Chip Production

Page 7 ABOUT TOWN -- Disintermediation - Not Just a Big Word

Page 8 COLUMNS & NEWS -- RVC and CU-BAC Columns

Page 9 CPIA and Technology Transfer Society Columns

Page 10 R&D Funding -- U.S. Renewable Energy Policies Lacking

Page 11 TIPS & TREASURES -- Photovoltaics Road Map


TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITY

Any technology organization or company is invited to submit brief articles via fax or e-mail to:
CU Business Advancement Center,
5353 Manhattan Cir., Suite 202, Boulder, CO 80303.
Phone (303) 554-9493 ext. 13 Fax (303) 554-9605
e-mail:
Karen Eye


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