WASHINGTON, D.C. – Broadband continues to expand from sea to shining sea, according to the NTIA.

Recipients of broadband stimulus grants through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) are on track to meet progress targets for fiscal year 2012, the federal agency said in a quarterly status report recently released to the public.

The NTIA was one of two agencies, along with the Rural Utilities Service, that administered the broadband stimulus program. The NTIA is responsible for approximately $4 billion in stimulus awards, the majority of which (about $3.5 billion) is going to help cover a large part of the costs of broadband network construction projects.

According to the NTIA’s latest report, the infrastructure program already has exceeded the construction goal (measured in network miles) for the entire fiscal year 2012. The NTIA said the target goal was a cumulative total of 50,000 network miles – and funding recipients already have completed 72,152 miles.

Almost 15,000 miles of new or upgraded network was deployed alone last quarter, according to NTIA. NTIA expects the pace of network construction to remain strong through the coming months and noted several projects in this recent report that are making positive impacts in several states including Oklahoma, Maryland, Alabama, and Minnesota.

North Carolina non-profit MCNC’s $144 million Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative (GLRBI) to expand the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) in rural and unserved areas of the state previously has been highlighted as an exemplary project by the NTIA in quarterly reports and in congressional testimony.

The GLRBI remains slightly ahead of schedule, matching the national trend on these projects.

As of last week, the second phase of the GLRBI was about 85 percent complete with a total of 1,449.94 conduit miles installed. The first 414 miles engineered for the initial phase of the project were finished earlier this year.

MCNC has expended $113.7 million of the $144 million investment, which included an $8 million commitment from MCNC’s own endowment. Cable operators, telecommunications companies, North Carolina electric membership cooperatives, and Hickory-based fiber and conduit manufacturer CommScope are just a few companies who have benefitted from the project.

According to federal guidelines, the GLRBI and most of the other projects nationwide must be complete by July 31, 2013.

One of the key goals of BTOP was to bring connectivity to what the NTIA calls “community anchor institutions” such as schools, libraries, hospitals, and public safety facilities. The fiscal year 2012 goal was to see a cumulative total of at least 10,000 anchor institutions connected – and as of today that total is at 10,045 nationwide.

The NTIA also found that companies assessed were “generally on budget during project implementation and are planning for project sustainability after the grant award period.”

In addition to the infrastructure program, the NTIA also awarded grants for public computing centers and for sustainable broadband adoption. The adoption programs consisted of digital literacy training and other efforts aimed at increasing the number of people who subscribe to broadband.

According to the new progress report, the cumulative goal for fiscal year 2012 for public computing center projects was to see 35,000 workstations installed – and funding recipients already have installed 36,347.

The success of the sustainable broadband adoption program is measured by the number of new broadband subscribers added as a result of those programs. The fiscal year 2012 goal was 350,000 cumulative new broadband subscribers, and according to the new report, the cumulative total for the third quarter of 2012 was 388,679.

Broadband stimulus grant recipients spent more than $420 million in federal money to deploy and promote broadband just in the third quarter of 2012, and grant recipients matched that with $125 million of their own money, according to the NTIA to Congress. The agency also has been keeping tabs on whether funding recipients are contributing 20 percent of project costs as they are required to do. Through June 2012, the agency said it had finalized 91% of all match reviews.