Separately, Strickling said that the NTIA would be unveiling the winners of the first round of the $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus grants in the next couple of weeks.

Members of Congress and some applicants for the funds have criticized the NTIA and the Department of Agriculture for not releasing the funds fast enough.

But Strickling said Tuesday that the department has been working hard to make sure that the projects that do get funded are going to use the money efficiently, and that they are going to be sustainable in the long run — meaning that they’ll still be in operation in five years.

The commercial sector, for its part, is littered with failed telecommunications projects, particularly in the area of wireless broadband.

“It’s important that these people have a business case, and that revenues that they’re generating will exceed operations costs,” Strickling said.