Broadband Deployment Board now accepting grant applications for broadband infrastructure development for Colorado rural communities
More than $9 million available; applications accepted through Sep. 12, 2017
DENVER (July 13, 2017) — Today the Broadband Deployment Board (Board), which manages the Colorado Broadband Fund within the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), announced that it is accepting applications for broadband infrastructure grants, now through September 12, 2017. The grants will support the deployment of broadband internet service to unserved Coloradans.
Access to broadband internet service is vital to rural communities, and the Board is working to achieve the Governor’s goal of 85-percent broadband coverage statewide by 2018 and 100-percent by 2020 through the funding of projects that help close the connection gap between rural and urban Colorado.
Providing broadband in rural areas expands quality health care through telehealth initiatives and provides rural students the same quality educational experience as their urban peers. Rural businesses increasingly rely on broadband access for selling products worldwide and agriculture is becoming more efficient with the ability to monitor and analyze crop and water conditions in real-time. Grants provided by the Board are a key component of the newly created Broadband Office’s strategy to expand broadband access to all Coloradans.
“The objective is to coordinate the funding provided by the Board with other state agencies, local communities, and the private sector to achieve the goal of 100-percent rural coverage by 2020,” said Tony Neal-Graves, Executive Director, Colorado Broadband Office.
The Board has made $9.4 million available for broadband infrastructure grants in its second application cycle. The funds, held by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) but awarded by the Board, are allocated for rural broadband by the Colorado Legislature. The new allocation will increase the state’s investment in rural Broadband Fund grants to more than $11.5 million since 2016.
Projects funded in the 2016 grant cycle are slated to provide broadband access to over 4,700 households and 175 businesses in Eagle, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Lake, Mesa, Montrose, Ouray, Prowers, Sedgwick and Weld counties.
“The additional $9.4 million in grant funds made possible by the legislature and the PUC will allow the Board to make significant progress in bringing broadband access to our rural communities,” said DORA’s Broadband Deployment Director Jordan Beezley.
Applications are now available on the Board's website, colorado.gov/dora-broadband-fund, and must be submitted by September 12, 2017.
Additional information on the Broadband Fund grant program is available at dora.colorado.gov/broadband-fund.