Ed Gubbins from Telephony as usual, had the correct information. Seeing all that free moolah available brought out many companies (competitors in some cases) to join forces and see what they can get from the Government.
Interestingly, the Bells haven't jumped in just yet; either there are too many restrictions or they don't want this business. After all, their reluctance to seek rural business led to the creation of thlephone cooperatives in the first place.
It's also worth mentioning that rural satellite Internet providers, most notably Wildblue, is joining forces with it's rivals Huges and Inmarsat, looking to get money for a new bird to share. Hughes and Wildblue already serve the needs of residential rural Internet, and they argue (correctly) that Internet via satellite requires no additional infrastructure other than a dish.
Telephony Unfiltered: Broadband stimulus draws a wave of muni telecom bids
Denver Business Journal: WildBlue hopes to fly high with share of stimulus funds