General and summative information about broadband funding can be found at Federal Funding | BroadbandUSA (doc.gov). According to the website, “BroadbandUSA’s Federal Funding site connects you to various funding opportunities that support broadband planning, digital inclusion, and deployment projects. The site allows you to filter programs by Agency/Department, Eligible Recipients, and/or Program Purpose by using the filter options… The site is updated as new funding becomes available, with information provided by federal agencies and the Federal Communications Commission.”
Rural Development Broadband ReConnect Program
USDA Rural Development announced that the department is making available $200 million in ReConnect Program loans, $250 million in loan/grant combinations, $350 million in grants with a 25% matching requirement, and $350 million in grants with no matching requirement for Tribes and projects in socially vulnerable communities.. The department will be accepting ReConnect applications through March 9, 2022.
To learn more about the Rural Development Broadband ReConnect Program, the evaluation criteria, and access forms and resources, go to ReConnect Loan and Grant Program | USDA. Webinar materials including slides, a transcript, and a recording of each is available on the Reconnect Application Workshop and Webinar Materials Page.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Grant
The Broadband Infrastructure Program provides federal funding on a competitive basis for the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Grants will be offered to competitively and technologically neutral projects for the deployment of fixed broadband service that provides qualifying broadband service in an eligible service area. More information and related documents for this expired grant opportunity can be reviewed at GRANTS.GOV and NTIA’s Grants Overview Page covers NTIA’s programs and funding opportunities in general. Also, NTIA’s pre-NOFO technical assistance webinars have been scheduled for 2022. These are designed to help prospective applicants understand NTIA’s IIJA broadband grant programs and to assist applicants to prepare high quality grant applications.
Northern Border Regional Commission Grant
The Northern Border Regional Commission’s 2022 Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment Program is now open. Letters of intent are due by April 22, 2022. For full details on the program, see www.nbrc.gov/content/EID. Slides reviewing this year’s program are available here.
The maximum grant amount for 2022 is $1,000,000 for construction in support of infrastructure, which includes basic public infrastructure, telecommunications, and renewable and alternative energy. For all other non-infrastructure applications, the maximum amount is $350,000, which includes business & workforce development, basic health care, and resource conservation, tourism, and recreation
Staff from the NYS Department of State will be available at the April 19 Local Government Conference to discuss potential projects. All four Tug Hill counties are included in the Northern Border area, and are considered distressed counties, which qualifies them for 80% grant/20% match.
Click here for ARPA resources.
Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R.3684; bill pending)
The federal government is close to passing the Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, colloquially known as the Infrastructure Bill. The bill includes detailed sections on broadband grants for broadband deployment, middle mile broadband infrastructure enablement, and broadband affordability. Additionally, a Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program would be created. You can learn more about the bill or read the bill on CONGRESS.GOV.