News and Funding Opportunities

Important Dates

August 23, 2023 - October 6, 2023
BIP: Proposed Areas Posted for Public Review, Challenge Process Window, Local Government Input Process Window

October 8, 2023 - November 8, 2023
BIP: Adjudication of Challenges Submitted

November 2023-January 2024
BIP: Application Review Period

Late 2023 (Pending Start Date)
BEAD: Initial Proposal Due – 180 days after release of new data maps & notice of funding amounts issued

February - March 2024
BIP: Awards Announced

2024 (Pending Start Date)
Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program Launch (Awaiting NOFO)

March 31, 2024
Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority Annual Report due to General Assembly and Governor

2025 (Pending Start Date)
BEAD: Final Proposal Due – 365 days after Initial Proposal approval

Broadband Program Information

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). An FCC program that helps connect families and households struggling to afford internet service, providing:
--Up to $30/month discount for broadband service
--A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet purchased through a participating provider if the household contributes more than $10 but less than $50 toward the purchase price.

Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP). Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) is funded pursuant to the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Capital Projects Fund) established under The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. BIP is a $200 million competitive grant program which will target locations that do not currently have access to 25/3 Mbps reliable service. Eligible applicants include local units of government, non-profits, cooperatives, and private entities. The Program will fund extensions of existing last-mile cable modem and fiber-to-the-premise broadband networks, and large-scale regional projects that can transform broadband availability by serving large numbers of eligible addresses.
--Program Guidelines
--FAQ Document
--Challenge Process
--Local Government Input Process

Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD). There is $42.5B available nationally (IIJA funding) with each state receiving $100M at least with funding need determined by FCC broadband availability map. PA is anticipated to receive $1.3B+. PBDA will allocate funding through a competitive grant program that is expected to open late 2023. 

Broadband Technical Assistant (BTA). The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Broadband Technical Assistance (BTA) provides competitive cooperative agreement funding to eligible entities to receive or deliver broadband technical assistance and training that promotes the expansion of broadband into rural areas. Examples of broadband technical assistance projects may include conducting feasibility studies, completing network designs, and developing broadband financial assistance applications. 

Capital Projects Fund (CPF) Program. PA was allocated $279M from the U.S. Treasury (ARPA funding) for broadband-related programs. CPF will include three programs that benefit unserved and underserved areas of the commonwealth, specifically:
--$200M to the Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP)
--$45M for Multi-Purpose Community Facility Projects--$20M for Digital Connectivity Technology Projects

Digital Equity (DE) Act Programs. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) received $2.75 billion (IIJA funding) to establish three grant programs that promote digital inclusion and equity to ensure that all individuals and communities have the skills, technology, and capacity needed to reap the full benefits of our digital economy. Programs include:
--State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program: $60M formula grant program for states and territories to develop digital equity plans.
--State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program: $1.44B formula grant program for states and territories distributed via annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects and support the implementation of digital equity plans.
--Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program: $1.25B discretionary grant program distributed vial annual grant programs over 5 years to implement digital equity projects.

Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure (MMBI). This competitive NTIA program provides $1 billion for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure. The grant program provides funding to expand and extend middle mile infrastructure, reducing the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas to high-speed internet service networks. 

General Resources