In an effort to keep everyone aware of potential funding opportunities we wanted to highlight two funding opportunities that are either active or will be implemented in the upcoming future.
Connect America Fund Reverse Auction
As most of you are aware the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II program is in full swing. While the incumbent provider in Colorado (CenturyLink) did accept the allocated funds in our state (and is actively upgrading locations) there is money remaining in the fund for additional projects. Under the rules, any funding not accepted by the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) in others states is to be ‘auctioned off’ in a reverse funding auction to any organization (private entities only) interested in serving specific areas. The FCC is finalizing the specifics of how the auction will work and we expect the process to begin some time in early 2018.
This program is an opportunity to fund solutions in traditionally difficult to reach areas and the Broadband Office will be actively engaging stakeholders in an attempt to maximize the investment in Colorado. We are currently analyzing the guidelines and available areas to help identify potential opportunities in the state. We will be following up with a comprehensive toolkit to help you understand the program and determine if it is something you wish to pursue. The Broadband Office will be offering its assistance to entities looking to apply to the program and if successful, helping them navigate the process of accepting the funds.
The FCC has provided information on initially eligible areas for this reverse auction and is preparing the final guidelines for the effort.
If you have questions on this program please reach out to us. We will be holding meetings and informational sessions as the guidelines are finalized.
For additional information:
USDA Loan Guarantee Program
As part of the last implementation of the National Farm Bill the USDA updated the program parameters for its Broadband Loan Guarantee program. This program, which offers low interest loans is available to a variety of organizations looking to implement broadband solutions in unserved areas. The loans are focused on the capital costs of projects and fall under the same guidelines as other USDA loan programs. Details on the program can be found at:
Applications are due September 30th. If you are interested in learning more our local USDA representative is Pattie Snidow (Pattie.Snidow@co.usda.gov) or you can contact any of us at the Broadband Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).