ConnectMaine Authority | Website

Grant Formats - Startup vs. Planning vs. Infrastructure

  • Startup Grants: "Intended for beginning the process of building community-wide support for expanding broadband service."

  • Planning Grants: "Awarded to develop plans to expand the availability of broadband service."

  • Infrastructure Grants: "Awarded to support investments in expanding the availability of broadband service"

Maine Connectivity Authority | Website

  • Until summer 2022 MCA will funnel its resources through the ConnectMaine grant framework. 

  • Their current goal is to align their objectives with the various requirements imposed by their funders. They also need to sync their efforts with ConnectMaine to ensure that they are not competing with one another, but instead complementing each other

Maine Community Foundation | Website

A small grant making organization awarding grants in the tens of thousands for community development efforts including broadband.

  • Community Broadband Grant: This application is currently closed but may open a second window later on. 

Affordable Connectivity Program (IIJA)* | Website

Overview

  • Provides a monthly subsidy for low-income families purchasing internet service, with higher subsidies for qualifying families in high-cost areas and households participating in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

  • Allocates $14.2 billion.

How to Apply

  • This is an FCC program.

  • Go to ACPBenefit.org to submit an application or print out a mail-in application.

  • Contact your preferred participating provider to select a plan and have the discount applied to your bill. Find a provider near you.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) - Capital Projects Fund | Website

Bill Projects

  1. Broadband Infrastructure Projects:

    • The construction and deployment of broadband infrastructure designed to deliver service that reliably meets or exceeds symmetrical speeds of 100Mbps so that communities have future-proof infrastructure to serve their long-term needs.

  2. Digital Connectivity Technology Projects:

    • The purchase or installation of devices and equipment, such as laptops, tablets, desktop personal computers, and public Wi-Fi equipment, to facilitate broadband internet access for communities where affordability is a barrier to broadband adoption and use.

  3. Multi-Purpose Community Facility Projects

    • The construction or improvement of buildings designed to jointly and directly enable work, education, and health monitoring located in communities with critical need for the project

Amount

  • The state of Maine received $128 million from the Capital Projects Fund. 

Requirements

  • For a capital project to be an eligible use of Capital Projects Fund grant funds, it must meet all of the following criteria:

    • The capital project invests in capital assets designed to directly enable work, education, and health monitoring.

    • The capital project is designed to address a critical need that resulted from or was made apparent or exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health emergency.

    • The capital project is designed to address a critical need of the community to be served by it.

How to Apply

  • Funds will be allocated through the Connect Maine Authority and the Maine Connectivity Authority

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) - Fiscal Recovery Funds | Website

Amount

  • The amount is dependent on the population of your town or county, but across Maine counties will receive $260.7 million (somewhere around $6-10 million/county), metropolitan cities will receive $118 million, and towns (minor civil divisions) will receive $119.2 million (~$50K per).

Requirements

  • Designed to serve households and businesses with an identified need. That need is determined by the recipient.

  • Should achieve 100mbps downloads and 100mbps upload. Where that is not possible, they should aim for 100mpbs/20mbps. 

    • The above metric is encouraged, but not required.

  • Service providers on ARPA funded networks must: Participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) or provide some other form of broadband assistance. 

  • The increased flexibility of these requirements is intended to increase the ability to use  ARPA funds for broadband projects. 

Timeline

  • These funds are allocated in two rounds at the town level in Maine. One has already arrived (May 2021) and one is scheduled one year later (May 2022). 

  • Each town, city, or county is setting its own timeline for ARPA applications. Reach out to your County Connector or your County Commissioner’s office for details.

How to Apply

  • You can apply by submitting a proposal to your Town or County.

Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program (IIJA)* | Website

Overview

  • Funding provided to states through matching grants 

  • Allocates $42.5 billion ->

    • $100 million to every state

    • $4.35 billion is distributed to projects in high-cost development areas based on need

    • $32.2 billion allocated to unserved locations based on need

How to Apply

  • This money will be distributed to the states who can then award subgrants to local organizations or governments.

  • Likely this will mean that ConnectME and MCA will have the responsibility of awarding those grants.

Broadband Infrastructure Program | Website

Overview

  • This program was an initiative led by the NTIA that closed its applications window and awarded its $288 million -> Maine received a $30 million grant from this pool of funds that was allocated to Washington, Franklin, and Hancock.

Digital Equity Act Competitive Grant Programs (IIJA)* | Website

Overview

  • Allocates $2.75 billion.

  • State Capacity Grant Program for state efforts to achieve digital equity and inclusion.

  • Digital Equity Act Competitive Grant Programs (from Competitive Grant Program funds) focused on senior citizens, veterans, minorities and individuals with a language barrier – $250 million.

How to Apply

  • Administered by NTIA

  • States will choose their own entity to administer the funds (MCA), which will be able to allocate grants.

Investing in Middle Mile Infrastructure (IIJA)* | Website

Overview

  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration grant program for the construction, improvement or acquisition of infrastructure (prioritizing underserved areas and requiring buildout to be completed within five years of the grant being made) – $1 billion.

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program | Website

Overview

  • A $980 million dollar fund specifically focused on connecting tribal regions in the United States. The application window closed 9/1/2021, but they are still reviewing applications. 

  • $2 billion was added from the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act (IIJA)

How to Apply

  • Administered by NTIA

  • The recent application window closed on September 21, 2021. Another round of grants is likely after the IIJA money is awarded.

*Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) Programs