The BIP (Broadband Initiatives Program) Satellite Program stems from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009, which has the aim of improving the financial economy in the United States and investing in citizens. The satellite program specifically sought to expand the areas of the nation that have access to high-speed Internet access, and is governed by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). While all companies meeting certain criteria were allowed to apply to provide service under this program, ultimately four companies were granted funds: Hughes Network, Wildblue Communications, EchoStar/Dish, and Spacenet, Inc.
BIP offers a greater infrastructure for Internet across the country, increasing the number of rural areas that have service. This not only increases the ability of people to engage in leisure Internet use, but also increases the ability of businesses and professionals to utilize computers and Internet programs. In total, $100 were doled out as a part of BIP, with Hughes Network getting the largest amount of money.
To be eligible to apply for money with the BIP Satellite Program, companies needed to meet certain qualifications. Namely, they had to agree to supply service to an area that is not within a city, town, or incorporated area with more than 20,000 people. The rural area also must not be adjacent to an urban are with a population of more than 50,000 people.
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