Request made to remove AD2 from SCABC project

Published 5:23 pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Ralph E. Brown, chief executive officer of Trillion Communications Corporation, announced Thursday that a request has been made to National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) to remove the sub recipient status of A2D from the South Central Alabama Broadband Project.

The project has been suspended for evaluation by the U.S. Department of Commerce since February.

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Trillion Communications is the grant recipient for the $86 million project to construct 2,200 miles of fiber optic broadband network in Butler, Crenshaw, Conecuh, Dallas, Escambia, Lowndes, Macon and Wilcox counties.

“What we have done is put in a request to the NTIA to approve our request to remove the sub recipient status of A2D,” Brown said Thursday.

He said the formal request that has been on the federal government’s table for two and a half to three weeks, but a response has not been received.

When asked why the request was made, he said, “The letter stated that we were not satisfied with A2D’s performance on the project. They were not able to bring the cash match to fruition, and we felt in the best interest of the project that was best to remove them from the sub recipient position.”

He said the cash match is $26 million.

Brown said the NTIA has not announced a decision on the status of the broadband project as of yet.

“We’re answering all of their questions about expenses, about invoices and about our ability to meet the end date, which August 2013,” he said.

“Originally A2D was originally hired as the construction manger [of the project]. That is going to be handed off to a general contractor,” Brown said.

He said the construction manger decision is not a federal request.

The Signal attempted to contact Tony Shackelford, vice president, and Antwon Alsobrook, founder, president, and chief executive officer of A2D without success.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.