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Icon ARPA and IIJA Include Federal Funding for BroadbandNov. 23, 2021

 

Funding for broadband deployment and digital inclusion is available to states through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The Nebraska Legislature is expected to appropriate federal funding from these programs in early 2022. In the coming months, more information will be available on the amount of funding for broadband allocated for broadband grants and when the funding may be available.

Here is a brief overview of the federal broadband funding programs in the American Rescue Plan Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

ARPA Capital Projects. $128,740,178 has been allocated to Nebraska for projects which 1) directly enable work, education, and health monitoring and 2) address critical needs. The following types of projects are eligible:

  • Broadband Infrastructure Projects
  • Digital Connectivity Projects
  • Multi-Purpose Community Facility Projects
  • States must apply for funding by December 27, 2021 and must submit grant plans by September 24, 2022. Funding for projects will be available after the U.S. Department of the Treasury approves a state‚Äôs grant plan.

    IIJA Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program. A minimum of $100,000,000 is allocated to each state for broadband planning and broadband deployment projects. Additional funding will be allocated when the FCC has released maps of broadband availability using an improved data collection method. he updated map is expected to be released sometime in 2022. Funding for subgrants for broadband deployment projects will likely not be available until late 2022 or 2023.

    ARPA State & Local Fiscal Recovery. States and local governments were allocated funding for projects which address:

    Funds must be obligated by December 31, 2024 and projects must be completed by December 31, 2026.

    State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program Planning Grants. States will receive a minimum of $300,000 to develop state digital equity plans. The program will begin Oct. 1, 2022. States have one year to complete digital equity plans.

    State Digital Equity Capacity Grants. After completing their digital equity plans, states can apply for implementation funding through this program which can be used to award grants to local entities and organizations. This funding will likely be available sometime in 2023 or 2024.

    A table (PDF) on these federal funding programs provides additional information.