Broadband How Fund Works Staging
What is the Broadband Fund?
The Broadband Deployment Board — established by the Colorado General Assembly in 2014--provides grants through the Broadband Fund to deploy broadband service in unserved areas of the state. The Board has awarded $11,500,000 to select applicants since 2016. Future grant cycles will be announced as funding becomes available.
The Board seeks public comment on applications before reviewing and selecting which projects to fund. Grants from the Fund can provide up to 75 percent of infrastructure project costs and may only be awarded to for-profit entities, with a few exceptions. The Board awards money from the Broadband Fund according to statutory requirements and Board policy.
Legislation passed durring the 2018 legislative session modifies grant eligibility and processes (SB18-002, SB18-104, HB18-1099, and HB18-1116). The Board will update its policies this summer to reflect the statutory changes. Changes to Board policy will go into effect on August 8, 2018.
*A nonprofit telephone cooperative or a nonprofit rural electric association that existed on May 10, 2014, is also eligible
Who Qualifies for Funding?
Applicants must meet certain minimum requirements including:
- Applicant is a for-profit entity *see exception
- Community lies outside municipal boundaries or has a population of less than 5,000 (Less than 7,500 starting in 2018)
- Project is new, not already in progress
- Funds will be used for infrastructure, not operations
Who Selects Grantees?
The Broadband Deployment Board was established in 2014 to provide grants for broadband access to unserved communities through the Broadband Fund. The Board meets regularly and operates according to these policies. After applications are received, the public is invited to comment on them, the Board holds a public meeting to review them, and then the Board makes funding decisions according to a set of award criteria.