Signing Paper

The Oregon Broadband Office is now accepting applications for grant awards for the Broadband Deployment Program (BDP), which received $156.8 million from the U.S. Treasury Department’s American Rescue Plan Act Capital Projects Fund.

The state received funding for the program from the federal Capital Projects Fund. The total amount to be awarded is expected to be $149 million because a portion of the funding will go toward administrative costs.

Awardees will be able to use the funds for construction and deployment of broadband infrastructure projects offering reliable broadband service (minimum 100/100 Mbps) to locations in Oregon that are unserved or underserved and lacking at least 100/20 Mbps wired service, according to a press announcement issued this week.

Unserved is defined as lacking a wired connection that reliably provides 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload, while underserved is defined as lacking a wired connection that reliably provides 100/20 Mbps.

The following entities are eligible for the funds: Municipalities, private and for-profit entities, electric utilities, co-operatives, municipal affiliates, each of Oregon’s nine federally recognized Tribes, and non-profit organizations. Applicants may apply alone or as part of a partnership.

BDP applications must be submitted by April 25, 2024, at 5 p.m. PST.

The Oregon Broadband Office award decisions will be based on a previously announced scoring system that offers:

  • 10 points for every unserved location
  • 5 points for every underserved location
  • 5 points per location if 100/100 Mbps service costs $30 a month or less
  • 2 points per location if 100/100 Mbps service costs between $30 and $50 a month

In addition, providers receive 50 points for every percentage point of total project costs they will contribute.

After points are tallied, 5% of the total project score is added for any of the four following priorities that the project meets:

  • regional scale consideration
  • muni/co-op/non-profit affiliated
  • high level of readiness
  • census block or tract with moderate to high social vulnerability

“Access to high-speed broadband is essential for all Oregonians. Our students need access for remote learning, our businesses need access to reach national and global markets, and our seniors rely on it for telehealth and connection,” Nick Batz, Oregon Broadband Office director, said in a prepared statement.

“In Oregon, approximately 145,060 total households lack access to reliable high-speed internet. Programs like the BDP can address this gap.”

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