The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society has a series to help folks manage the opportunity coming in to support digital equity at the local level: Pathways to Digital Equity: How Communities Can Reach Their Broadband Goals—and How Philanthropy Can Help. They are manageable bits of information that you can run with right away. Today’s chapter is about the Just Transition Fund…
JTF offers grants of up to $150,000 and technical assistance to help organizations access federal and state funds to expand broadband access. This program is designed to offer flexible support for what local organizations need. Grants and technical assistance can be used for:
- Grant writing to put together a successful application
- Identifying grant programs that are a good fit for a community project
- The community’s portion of infrastructure project matching funds
- Building internal staff capacity to further develop and refine a community broadband project
- Feasibility studies and additional project planning
The Fund prioritizes communities in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Wyoming, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Texas.
Recipients of broadband grants or technical assistance, which are provided on a rolling basis, are invited to join JTF’s community of practice. Through ongoing open calls and relationship-building, the JTF supports communities and connects them with one another to facilitate peer learning, mentorship, and the sharing of best practices.