Federal Broadband Funding

Community Connect Grant

Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Rural Development

Eligible Applicant: Most State and Local governments, Federally-recognized Tribes, Non-profits, and For-profit corporations.

Description: This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. A funding match of 15% from non-federal sources are required, and can be used for operating costs.

ReConnect Loan and Grant Program

Source: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Eligible Applicant: 

  • States, local governments, or any agency, subdivision, instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof
  • A territory or possession of the United States
  • Federally-recognized Tribes
  • Non-profit entities
  • For-profit corporations
  • Limited liability companies
  • Cooperative or mutual organizations

Description: This program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. Below are the maximum award amounts, per application.

  • 100 Percent Grant program is available for up to $25,000,000.
  • 50 Percent Loan / 50 Percent Grant is available for up to $50,000,000 in total - $25,000,000 for the grant and $25,000,000 for the loan.
  • 100 Percent Loan is for up to $200,000,000.

Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Program (E-Rate)

Source: Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)

Eligible Applicant: K-12 Public Schools and Libraries.

Description: The schools and libraries universal service support program (i.e. E-Rate Program) helps schools and libraries obtain affordable broadband. Eligible schools, school districts, and libraries may apply individually or as part of a consortium.

Funding may be requested under two service categories:

  • Services to a school or library (telecommunications, telecommunications services and Internet access)
  • Services that deliver Internet access within schools and libraries (internal connections, basic maintenance of internal connections, and managed internal broadband services)

Discounts for support depend on the poverty level and location of the school or library. E-Rate discounts range from 20% to 90% of costs for eligible services.

Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

Source: Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

Background: The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government. It provides assistance for long-term development of a chronically depressed multi-state region. This region includes 25 counties and 8 independent cities in Virginia.

Virginia’s Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) provides funding to foster economic development and improve the quality of life for citizens in the Commonwealth's Appalachian area.

Eligible Projects: Projects that leverage Virginia’s cultural, natural, community, structural, business and economic assets in the Commonwealth's Appalachian Region are eligible for funding.

Connect America Fund Phase II Auction - Auction 903 (CAF2)

Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Background: CAF2 is part of the FCC’s efforts to reform its high-cost universal service support program, which preserves and expands access to voice and broadband services.

Eligible Areas:  The FCC made census blocks eligible for auction in states where price cap carriers (i.e. larger telephone providers) declined the offer of model-based support and extremely high-cost census blocks nationwide (excluding NY, AK, PR, & VI). To be eligible, a census block could not have been served with voice and broadband services of at least 10/1 Mbps by an unsubsidized competitor or price cap carrier.

Auction Results: The CAF2 Auction ran from July 24, 2018 to August 21, 2018.  103 bidders won $1.49 billion over 10 years to provide fixed broadband and voice services to over 700,000 locations in 45 states. In Virginia, 5 bidders won $10,892,361.26 for 39,896 locations.


Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM)

Source: Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)

Background: The Alternative Connect America Cost Model (ACAM) provides support to rate-of-return carriers that voluntarily elect to transition to a new cost model for calculating High Cost funding. ACAM models forward-looking economic costs of deploying and operating a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network. ACAM is funded at $578 million annually from 2017 to 2026.

Deployment Requirements: Carriers must provide fixed broadband and voice services to awarded  locations based on the following deployment schedule:

  • 40% of deployments by the end of year 4
  • 50% of deployments by the end of year 5
  • 60% of deployments by the end of year 6
  • 70% of deployments by the end of year 7
  • 80% of deployments by the end of year 8
  • 90% of deployments by the end of year 9
  • 100% of deployments by the end of year 10