The Massachusetts Broadband Institute at Mass Tech (MBI) has launched the Broadband Infrastructure Gap Networks Grants Program, which is being funded at $145 million by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF).
The program is being administered by the MassTech Collaborative, which is MBI’s parent, and the state’s Executive Office of Economic Development.
The goal is to provide high-speed Internet infrastructure to areas that do not have service of at least 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds, which are the federal program guidelines.
Eligible entities are co-operatives, electric co-operatives, and utilities; local governmental entities; private entities; public-private partnerships and entities that develop and/or operate broadband networks.
The online grant application opportunity opens on November 9. A .pdf of the application template is slated to be posted by November 1.
There will be two solicitation rounds.
The first has an application deadline of December 11 with awards expected in January or February of 2024. The second opens on March 6, 2024 and has an application deadline of April 17, 2024 with expected awards in May or June of that year.
Questions for both programs will be accepted and answered on a rolling basis. A technical assistance webinar for the first round is slated for November 14 and for the second round on March 18, 224.
Treasury approved the $145 million in CPF funding for Massachusetts last October.
The expectation was that 16,000 households and business would be connected. This would represent 27% of locations in the Commonwealth.
Links to broadband funding resources and previous Telecompetitor coverage about Massachusetts broadband can be found on the Broadband Nation webpage for Massachusetts.