On May 13, 2022, the US Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released three separate funding announcements – or “Notices of Funding Opportunity” (NOFOs) – detailing the eligibility requirements, deadlines, and rules for the $45 billion in broadband funding:
Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program – $1 billion:
- The program will award $5-$100 million in grant funding to selected applicants to build middle mile facilities with interconnection points located within 1,000 feet of a Community Anchor Institution (e.g., school, library, or hospital).
- Eligible entities include telecommunications companies, telecommunications cooperatives, technology companies, electric utilities, utility cooperatives, public utility districts, nonprofits (e.g., foundations, corporations, institutions, or associations), regional planning councils, native entities, economic development authorities, states, political subdivision of states, and tribal governments. Additionally, to a partnership of two (2) or more of the aforementioned entities.
- JSI can help clients submit a Middle Mile Grant application directly to NTIA by the September 30, 2022, deadline.
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program – $42.5 billion:
- Program funding disbursed through the states can be used for projects to connect the unserved (lacking 25 Mbps / 3 Mbps) and underserved (lacking 100 Mbps / 20 Mbps) as well as to connect community anchor institutions.
- Eligible entities include all 50 states and US territories. They must submit a Letter of Intent to NTIA by July 18, 2022, additional application materials by August 15, 2022, and up to 270 days to submit a five-year action plan to receive funding.
- States are eligible for a minimum of $100 million each.
- US Territories are eligible for a minimum of $25 million each.
State Digital Equity Act Program – $1.5 billion:
- In accordance with their respective Digital Equity Plans, states and territories will disburse grant funding to promote the achievement of digital equity, support digital inclusion activities, and build capacity for efforts by states related to broadband adoption.
- Eligible applicants include all fifty states and US territories.
- Completed applications are due July 12, 2022, for the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
- Letters of Intent from the US territories that wish to participate are also due July 12, 2022.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocated $45 billion to these three programs to deliver affordable high-speed broadband to Americans.
JSI will be providing more detail on each of these programs and how entities can take advantage of these opportunities. Should you have any questions, please contact Amanda Molina or Douglas Meredith for assistance by clicking the button below.