The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allocated $100 million to the Rural Broadband Expansion Experiments program. This program will provide funding to deploy broadband networks in high-cost or extremely high-cost areas within eligible census blocks. Applications were due on October 14, 2014 but have been delayed. The Project team will publish more information as it is released.
An informational webinar is scheduled for Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
The application process for the experiments is outlined in the Public Notice issued on August 19, 2014. AGRC has created a map of census blocks that contain areas that would qualify for funding.
Funding amount will total $100 million.
- Category 1 funding = $75 million – projects providing 25 Mbps downstream/5 Mbps upstream
- Category 2 funding = $15 million – projects providing 10 Mbps downstream/1Mbps upsteam
- Category 3 funding = $10 million – projects providing 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up in high-cost or extremely high-cost areas.
Each Category will also have a cap for allowed funding per project.
- Category 1 – $20 million per project
- Category 2 – $7.5 million per project
- Category 3 – $5 million per project
- Per applicant or entity – $20 million
Applications are due by 6:00 ET on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 through the electronic FCC Auction System filing FCC form 5610 and 5620.
A formal proposal must be presented with background information, description of the project, service areas, planned service offerings, lifeline services, technology used and locations. Applications involving Tribal census blocks exclusively will receive a 25% “bidding credit”
The Wireline Competition Bureau will rank each project. The most cost-effective bid within each category will be awarded the funding. Winning bids will be made public after the selection process is completed, however all other bids will remain confidential.
We encourage interested parties to participate in the application process.