Add California and Wisconsin to the growing list of states whose broadband funding programs have received applications seeking considerably more funding than the program has available.
California’s Federal Funding Account received 484 applications requesting $4.6 billion, which is more than double the $2 billion budgeted for the program. Awards are used to fund last mile infrastructure projects. Every county applied for funding.
The state also provided information about applications made to two other broadband programs – The Broadband Adoption Account and the Infrastructure Grant Account – both of which appear to have sufficient funding, depending on how many funding rounds are conducted.
California’s Broadband Adoption Account received 96 applications for nearly $15 million for broadband access and digital literacy, while the Infrastructure Grant Account received 74 applications requesting approximately $527 million for middle-mile and last-mile infrastructure.
The state also released information about applications for the Broadband Public Housing Account and the Tribal Technical Assistance Program, although the state didn’t detail the total amount of funding requested for either program.
The Broadband Public Housing Account received 14 applications to build broadband networks offering free service to residents of low-income communities. The Tribal Technical Assitance Program received five applications for grants to develop market and feasibility studies.
The state of Wisconsin received 124 applications requesting $221.6 million from the state’s Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, which has $42 million available from the federal Capital Projects Fund to award in that program.
“Clearly the need far outweighs the resources available, and we must keep making meaningful state investments to prioritize and invest in the robust broadband infrastructure needed to meet our state’s 21st century needs,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, in an announcement about the applications.
Among the applicants were AT&T, Brightspeed, Charter, Comcast, Frontier, Midco and numerous smaller companies, including incumbent rural telecom providers and more.
Additional information about California broadband funding programs, including links to state resources, Telecompetitor coverage and more can be found on the Broadband Nation page for the state.
Similar information about Wisconsin broadband funding programs can be found on that state’s Broadband Nation page.