A variety of grant and subsidy programs are available to assist with broadband expansion.
STATE & REGIONAL PROGRAMS
BroadbandOhio Provides last mile construction grants to internet providers through the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Program.
*Current funding round awards were announced March 18, 2022 second round funding date not released.
ARC POWER Initiative Targets Appalachian communities with coal mining job losses. Includes broadband expansion opportunities.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (NTIA administered) includes rural broadband as one of its core commitments. As part of this bill, the NTIA will receive $65 billion for broadband, including $1 billion for middle-mile projects and $42.45 billion for states to fund last mile broadband deployment, mapping, and adoption.
The American Rescue Plan Act includes two different programs that can be used for broadband expansion: the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Capital Projects Fund.
USDA Infrastructure Grants are another potential source for rural broadband expansion subsidies; however, the application process is difficult, and awards include significant restrictions.
FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) subsidizes up to 60% of the cost to build new broadband infrastructure in unserved rural locations, with a preference for fiber-to-the-home.
FCC Emergency Connectivity Fund helps schools and libraries purchase existing internet services for their students/patrons (home connections, wi-fi hotspots, etc.) This money cannot be used to build new infrastructure unless a school or library can prove there are no adequate options available already.
FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit offers a discount of up to $50/month ($75/month on tribal lands) for low-income households to purchase broadband. Does not include any funding for building new infrastructure.
FCC Rural 5G Fund focuses on bringing 5G cellular service to rural locations that are unlikely to have coverage otherwise. Because 5G requires an extensive fiber optic network to function, this fund could create infrastructure with enough extra capacity to provide fiber-based internet to rural households.