New York State Broadband Funding
As part of her 2022 State of the State address, Governor Hochul announced the $1+ billion ConnectALL initiative — the largest ever investment in New York’s 21st century infrastructure. This initiative will deliver affordable internet access to millions of New Yorkers, bolster digital equity, and transform the state’s digital infrastructure through new investments. A cornerstone of the ConnectALL initiative is to empower municipalities to assess and solve their unique connectivity challenges through investments in local planning, public infrastructure, and internet expansion in rural areas.
Additional information on New York State funding programs will be available soon at: https://broadband.ny.gov/grants-funding.
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.
Federal Broadband Funding
General and summative information about broadband funding can be found at Federal Funding | BroadbandUSA (doc.gov).
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)
Click here for ARPA resources.
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law. This Act includes a significant investment of $65 billion to help close the digital divide and ensure that all Americans have access to reliable, high speed, and affordable broadband. This investment builds upon the funding for broadband deployment provided in the American Rescue Plan, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the FCC’s Universal Service program, and USDA’s Rural Utilities Service broadband programs. This historic investment will lay critical groundwork for widespread access and affordability of broadband, creating new jobs and economic opportunities, providing increased access to healthcare services, enriching educational experiences of students, and improving overall quality of life for all Americans.
NTIA will implement the following programs:
Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program: Appropriates $42.45 billion for states, territories, the District of Columbia (D.C.), and Puerto Rico (P.R.) to utilize for broadband deployment, mapping, and adoption projects. Each state, D.C., and P.R. will receive an initial allocation of $100 million — and $100 million will be divided equally among the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands — to support planning efforts including building capacity in state broadband offices and outreach and coordination with local communities.
States, territories, D.C., and P.R., leveraging initial planning funds that will be made available through the program, will submit a 5-year action plan, which shall be informed by collaboration with local and regional entities. The remaining funding will be distributed based on a formula that considers the number of unserved and high-cost locations in the state, based on the maps to be published by the FCC in 2022. The first priority for funding is for providing broadband to unserved areas (those below 25/3 Mbps), followed by underserved areas (those below 100/20 Mbps), and then serving community anchor institutions (1/1 Gbps). Letters of intent are due July 18, 2022.
Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program: Establishes and funds a $1 billion program for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure. The purpose of the grant program is to expand and extend middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas to the internet backbone. Eligible applicants include States, political subdivisions of a State, tribal governments, technology companies, electric utilities, utility cooperatives, public utility districts, telecommunications companies, telecommunications cooperatives, nonprofit foundations, nonprofit corporations, nonprofit institutions, nonprofit associations, regional planning councils, Native entities, or economic development authorities. The NOFO was released May 13, 2022 with applications open on June 21. Applications are due September 20, 2022.
Digital Equity Act Programs: Dedicates $2.75 billion to establish three grant programs that promote digital inclusion and equity to ensure that all individuals and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. The goal of these programs is to promote the meaningful adoption and use of broadband services across the targeted populations in the Act, including low-income households, aging populations, incarcerated individuals, veterans, individuals with disabilities, individuals with a language barrier, racial and ethnic minorities, and rural inhabitants.
- State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program: $60 million formula grant program for states and territories to develop digital equity plans.
- State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program: $1.44 billion formula grant program for states and territories distributed via annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects and support the implementation of digital equity plans.
- Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program: $1.25 billion discretionary grant program distributed vial annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects. Eligible applicants include specific types of political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of a state; tribal governments; nonprofit entities; community anchor institutions; local educational agencies; and entities that carry out workforce development programs.
Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program: Provides an additional $2 billion to TBCP, a NTIA program previously implemented under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The TBCP directs funding to tribal governments to be used for broadband deployment on tribal lands, as well as for telehealth, distance learning, broadband affordability, and digital inclusion.
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 accepted 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.