Broadband Financing Program

Request for Proposals for $1.5 million in grants for CUDs

VCBB invites proposals from CUDs for state grants of up to $400,000 to be used as cash equity to secure loans or reduce the cost of securing loans to finance broadband projects. Link to the RFP

Background:

In 2020, the General Assembly appropriated $1,500,000 in General Funds for the purpose of supporting the efforts of the Communications Union Districts (CUDs) to secure the financing necessary to advance broadband projects.  (Sec. B.11100 FY 2021 One-Time General Fund)
 

Requirements:

  • Applicants must be a CUD or group of CUDs with a board-approved Act 71 compliant business plan for providing every address within its district access to broadband service capable of speeds of at least 100/100Mbps.
  • Applicants must be in compliance with all conditions and reporting requirements enumerated in previous grant agreements with the VCBB.
  • Applicant must be actively pursuing a specific program to finance for an Act 71 compliant project that requires additional non-federal support.
  • Applicants are subject to transparency and reporting requirements including, but not limited to, reporting, tracking, and documentation of incurred costs, and access to records in accordance with the State of Vermont Agency of Administration’s Bulletin No. 5, available at https://aoa.vermont.gov/sites/aoa/files/Bulletins/Bulletin_5_eff12-26-14.pdf.

Decision-making criteria and process:

  • Is the use of this funding source necessary to ensure the financing is obtained?
  • Will obtaining this funding lower the cost of financing the network?
  • Will this funding allow the Applicant to leverage additional financing?
  • Is this the best funding source to pursue at this time? What else was considered?
  • Determinations will be made based on need, impact, and the best interests of the State of Vermont.
  • Staff may conduct additional research into the applicant and the source of financing before making a decision and/or work with applicants to revise proposals to better achieve the goals of the state.
  • Staff will review applications within five business days on a first come, first served basis and award grants until funds are exhausted.