CTC Technology and Energy recent posted Four Strategic Steps Your Community Can Take Now to Prepare for NTIA’s New Broadband Grant Programs. Here is an abridged version…
- Understand and document your community’s broadband needs
Define your project area and evaluate your market. We know the Promote Broadband Expansion Grant Program will favor applicants who can serve the greatest number of households in an eligible service area. The other programs’ applications will include questions about the communities to be served, too. .. Watch out for existing federal funding.
- Develop a technical analysis and cost estimates for construction, equipment, and operations
Once you have the outlines of a project that will address your community’s broadband needs, start developing your technical and programmatic approaches—and, most importantly, the estimated capital and operating costs for implementing your plan.
- Develop a business strategy
Build partnerships. For localities that do not have experience operating their own networks, partnerships with established ISPs are a way to demonstrate operational capabilities. (NTIA will be specifically looking for public-private partnerships for the Promote Broadband Expansion Grant Program.) … Start talking to potential partners now. … Develop a sustainable business model.
- Create a grant checklist and start marking off the basics
We expect NTIA’s grant application windows to be relatively short—so the more you can do to get ready now, the better off you’ll be. Start with the basics. For example, do you have Sam.gov and Grants.gov accounts? You’ll need both to apply to any of NTIA’s programs—and you can imagine how many other entities will be applying for credentials when the application rules are released. Do not wait until the last minute to set up these accounts.