Internet is a necessity. CNE is here to help you through every step of planning and executing your broadband project. One of the most important things our team of experts can help with is funding. There are many options to fund your rural broadband project. We have compiled a list of the most current funding mechanisms for you.
Many of the funds available stem from the Infrastructure Bill and American Jobs Act, and Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) program. This provides $65 Billion of funding directed toward unserved and underserved communities. Here is a more detailed breakdown of these funds:
- $42.5 billion reserved for BEAD program. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NITA) will administer this. The NITA will then distribute grants to operators and service providers to build in undeserved areas
- $2.75 billion reserved for digital equity grant for states
- $2 billion reserved for broadband grants distributed through the USDA RUS program
- $2 billion reserved for Tribal Broadband Connectivity grants
- $1 billion reserved for middle-mile network grants
- $600 million in Private Activity Bonds for broadband projects.
Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program
- This is specifically for Tribal governments and bodies and is to be used for broadband infrastructure on tribal lands. This funding is meant to help bring affordable broadband opportunities, including free or reduced cost service as well as preventing disconnection of existing services.
- This opportunity is for rural areas. The Reconnect program provides loans and grands to fund construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment. We are preparing for Round 4 of this program. The Reconnect program is one of the most popular funding options. You can find more information about eligibility here (Service Area Eligibility Requirements | USDA)
Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase II
- We are preparing for Phase II of this funding option. There will be $11.2 billion allocated for underserved and partially underserved 5.4m census block locations. These projects are to ensure that networks are prepared by prioritizing higher speeds and lower latency. This program has a two-step application process First, a short form is required for initial application and then a long form will need to be completed after funds are awarded.
Capital Project Funds
- This funding gives the option for investing in high quality broadband as well as other infrastructure and equipment. This program gives flexibility to each state, territory, or tribal governments to in vest in community hubs and other capital assets to provide work, education, and health services.
State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds
- This program is tied to the rescue plan and is intended to help with economic recovery and provide infrastructure resources.
Connect America Fund (CAF Phase II)
- This program is for carriers who serve customers in rural, high-cost, and insular areas. It is intended to ensure that customers in these areas have access to modern communication networks.
Various State Grants
- There are also opportunities for various grants through the individual states. Our friends at Calix have created a US state map detailing a few of the state grant programs available. You can check it out here (State Funding (calix.com))
Don’t let funding stop you from bringing internet to your community today! Contact our team of experts today and let us get your project moving!