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Who Qualifies for a Broadband Fund Grant?

Who Qualifies for a Broadband Fund Grant?

Broadband Fund Grant Eligibility Requirements

The Broadband Deployment Board will review applications for compliance with the following minimum requirements:

  • The area lies outside of municipal boundaries or is a city with a population of fewer than 7,500  inhabitants; and consists of households lack access to at least one provider of a broadband network that uses satellite technology and at least one provider of a broadband network that uses non- satellite technology.
  • The project for which funding is requested must be a new project, and not a project in progress already. A “project in progress” means one in which construction of infrastructure has started. Phased projects may be considered a new project if the phase for which funding is being requested would not otherwise be completed without funding from the Broadband Fund.
  • Grant funds shall be used for infrastructure deployment only, and not for on-going operating costs.
  • The project provides access to a broadband network.
  • The project shall provide last mile service, which is defined as the portion of broadband service that delivers an internet connection to an end user that lacks access to broadband service at measurable speeds greater than fifty-six kilobits per second.
  • The applicant shall provide independent matching funds of at least 25% of the total cost of the proposed project.
  • The project does not overbuild areas receiving federal sources of high cost support or federal broadband for construction of a broadband network that will be completed within 24 months.
  • The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that the proposed network meets industry reliability standards.
  • The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board an ability to deliver on the proposed project within established timelines and within budget.
  • The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board the ability to operate the network as proposed for a minimum of 5 years following project completion.
  • The project shall be completed within two years from the date in which the grant award contract is executed.
  • The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board an ability to provide broadband service at a reasonable cost per household and at reasonable service costs to end users in the area to be served.
  • The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that the project is not in an area with a population density large enough to require service under an existing franchise agreement.
  • The applicant has applied using the most recent application form and has answered all questions and provided all attachments.

If the Board determines that an application does not meet all minimum requirements, the applicant will be notified in writing and provided an explanation of the Board’s decision. Applicants that do not meet the minimum requirements may, pursuant to C.R.S. 40-15-509.5(8)(j)(III) and the Board’s Appeal Policy, appeal the Board’s determination within ten (10) days of receiving written notification from the Board that it does not meet the minimum requirements.

There is a 60-day period in which local entities with jurisdiction over the area to be served, incumbent providers and the public may review and provide comments on applications. All applicants may respond to any public comments regarding their application within seven days of the comments being posted to the Broadband Fund website.

How do I appeal a Board decision or submit a right of First Refusal?

The decision to award funds (or not award funds) to a particular applicant is not appealable. Aggrieved parties may only appeal a decision by the Board that an individual applicant is eligible for grant funds. Appeals must be made within ten days.

An incumbent provider exercising a right of first refusal must provide notice within ten days and submit a written plan 20 days later.

Please carefully review the Board's policies and use the correct forms.