The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (Authority) is currently accepting applications for the Broadband Infrastructure Program (Program), funded through the federal Capital Projects Fund, to distribute $200 million in grants to businesses, not-for-profits, municipalities, and economic development organizations. Applicants must commit a 25% share of the total Project cost in matching funds. A separate government grant, loan, or subsidy can be counted toward the matching requirement. A Project can range from $500,000 to $10 million.
The objective of the Program is to facilitate universal coverage by focusing on serving communities and households that can be difficult and cost-prohibitive to serve absent the availability of public funding. Successful applicants will need to document their digital equity efforts to ensure long-term, sustainable service and affordable access for lower income households.
Eligible Projects include line extensions and last mile services that are designed to provide at least 100 Megabits (Mbps) download speeds and between 20 Mbps and 100 Mbps upload speeds. Large-scale regional infrastructure projects are also eligible so long as those projects achieve last-mile connections.
The application period will close on July 10, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. The Authority will post proposed Project areas on its website on July 24, 2023. From July 24, 2023 to September 5, 2023, interested parties will have an opportunity to challenge proposed projects on the grounds that awarding a grant to that project would result in an overbuild. An adjudication process runs from September 6, 2023 through October 5, 2023. All Projects must reach substantial completion before December 31, 2026.