Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Public Service announced the launch of the Broadband Innovation Grant program on August 6, 2019 to help communities conduct feasibility studies and create business plans related to the deployment of broadband in rural, unserved and underserved areas of Vermont.
The program will award up to $60,000 per grant to eligible grantees including non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, cooperatives, distribution utilities*, communications union districts and other government entities. Grantees must deliver a feasibility study that proposes new broadband systems with minimum speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload in unserved or underserved areas.
(*Only distribution utilities are eligible for the second round of funding. A maximum of two distribution utillities will be funded by this grant program.)
- First Cycle: Awardees have been selected and announced.
- Second Cycle (distribution utilities only): Request for Proposals to be issued in February 2020.
- Third Cycle (up to six eligible awardees): Request for Proposal to be issued in April 2020.
The following sections are included in the grant specifications (for more detailed information about these sections please see the Broadband Innovation Grant Program Application Guidance Document):
- Activity Supported Under this Grant: Proposals should be structured to include activities that determine the viability of different innovative strategies for enabling broadband deployment in rural unserved and underserved areas of Vermont.
- Feasibility Study: Proposals should include a feasibility study designed to collect information regarding project development, financing and deliverables.
- Business Plan: Proposals will need to include an actionable business plan for a potential broadband solution with speeds at a minimum of 25/3 Mbps.
- Project Description: Proposals must include a detailed project description including how specific technology will be deployed and evaluated.