The state of Georgia announced $240 million in funding to expand broadband throughout the state. The funding will come from the U.S. Treasury $10B Capital Projects Fund program.
The funding will be awarded through a competitive grant program, according to a press release from Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp’s office.
“Whether you own a small business in rural Georgia, run a farm that utilizes precision agriculture technology, or have children that need to do their homework, the expansion of high-speed internet impacts all Georgians,” said Governor Kemp in the press release. “I’m encouraged by the progress we have made, and I look forward to what we can accomplish in the future.”
A NOFO from the state outlines the competitive process. Notable rules include:
- The program will look to fund projects that reliably meet or exceed download and upload speeds of 100 Mbps
- Applicants must participate in the FCC Affordable Connectivity Program
- Applicants are strongly encouraged to offer an ‘affordable option’ plan of at least 100/20 Mbps
- The state has identified 44 preliminary eligible unserved project areas, which are defined as not currently receiving 25/3 Mbps service
- ISPs, including co-operatives, electric utilities, and other entities that build or operate broadband networks, as well as partnerships, are eligible.
- There is a defined scoring criteria with certain aspects having more weight (project budget that includes matching funds for example).
This Georgia broadband program application window opens September 6th and closes October 7th, according to the NOFO.
This new round of funding follows previous funding from Georgia of $400M for broadband expansion that was announced in February 2022. Many states are now implementing broadband funding programs, driven in large part by federal funding programs like ARPA, the CARES Act, and the forthcoming BEAD program. North Carolina, Louisiana, and Vermont are recent examples.