The Broadband Infrastructure Program makes grants on a competitive basis to covered partnerships for covered broadband projects. A covered partnership may include more than one provider of fixed broadband service as part of its application. Additionally, a provider of fixed broadband service may participate in more than one covered partnership. A provider of broadband service that is part of a covered partnership is not required to be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to section 214(e) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 214(e)). NTIA encourages municipalities, non-profits, or cooperatives that own and/or operate broadband networks to participate in this program as part of a covered partnership.
NTIA’s Broadband Infrastructure Program was established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. In the priority order defined by the Act, NTIA will accept applications for projects that are designed to:
- Provide broadband service to the greatest number of households in an eligible service area
- Provide broadband service to rural areas
- Be most cost-effective in providing broadband service, or
- Provide broadband service with a download speed of at least 100 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 20 Mbps.
NTIA will group applications based on the priority above that each application addresses, and will sequence its review of application groups in the statutory order listed above.
An applicant must be a covered partnership as defined in Section I.B.f of this NOFO. Specifically, the term “covered partnership” means a partnership between: (A) a State, or one or more political subdivisions of a State; and (B) a provider of fixed broadband service. The partnership does not need to be documented in a formal legal agreement at the time of application submission but should be expressed in the application as a general intent to cooperate in implementing the covered broadband project proposed for an award. A covered partnership may include more than one provider of fixed broadband service as part of its application. Additionally, a fixed broadband service provider may participate in more than one covered partnership.
NTIA is holding a series of webinars to further inform stakeholders about the program. The next Broadband Infrastructure webinars will be held on June 9 and 10.
Senior Broadband Program Specialist
Phone: (202) 482-2048