Key Points

  • Grant (no matching funds requirement) applications due Sept. 1 and anticipated award date end November 2021. Award period is one year from the receipt of funds.
  • Minimum allocation of $500k per tribe, with a target project value of $1-50M for Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Projects, and $50k-$2.5M for Broadband Adoption and Use Projects
  • Funds can be used for broadband infrastructure deployment projects and/or promoting adoption and use of free broadband service, distance learning; telehealth; digital inclusion efforts; and broadband adoption activities.
  • Key objective is to “enhance economic development and provide new jobs; expand education, telehealth, public safety, and telework access; and support smart technologies for agriculture, manufacturing, utilities, and government operations and services on Tribal Lands”
  • The project can include up to 5% of total value towards grant preparation costs (Jun-August 2021 costs) and up to 1% towards “planning, engineering, feasibility, or sustainability studies.” Projects also require semi-annual and annual financial and technical project reports.
  • NTIA encourages eligible entities to collaborate or participate as part of a consortium required as part of the application. Also of note: Open Network requirement, Buy American, and contracting with Small and Minority Businesses

 

Compiled by Geeks Without Frontiers

Eligible Costs

 

  1. Construction, improvement, replacement, extension or acquisition of facilities and telecommunications equipment
  2. Long-term leases
  3. Engineering and network design, including environmental, historical, and cultural reviews
  4. Performance bonds, LoCs
  5. Workforce training
  6. Program costs
  7. Provision of affordable broadband programs
  8. Provision of digital training, education, technology support, outreach, and awareness
  9. Access to broadband services including public computer centers; public WiFi networks; broadband in public housing, schools, libraries, health centers, workforce development centers, and other Tribal anchor institutions;
  10. Needs assessment and Planning related to increasing broadband adoption, digital inclusion, online education, telehealth, and digital workforce initiatives
  11. Monitoring and evaluation of digital inclusion and broadband adoption programs

 

Evaluation criteria (need 70 points for the award)

 

  1. Project Purpose and Benefits, level of impact on Tribal Land (45 points)
  2. Project Viability (30 points)
    1. Operational approach (15 points)
    2. Applicant’s Organizational Capability (15 points)
  3. Project Budget and Sustainability (25 points)
    1. Reasonableness of the Budget (10 points)
    2. Sustainability of the Budget (15 points)

 

Submission documents

 

  1. Standard Form 424: Application for Federal Assistance
  2. CD–511 Certification Regarding Lobbying
  3. For non-construction programs Standard Form 424A: Budget Information and Standard Form 424B: Assurances if you have not updated your account on Sam.gov since February 2019
  4. For construction programs SF424C Budget and SF-424D Assurances
  5. Project Narrative
  6. Status as an eligible entity
  7. Budget Narrative and Detailed Budget Justification
  8. Indirect Cost Rate (capped at 2%)
  9. Tribal Council resolution of consent (and Letters of Commitment if applicable)
  10. Maps of proposed service areas
  11. Status as an eligible entity
  12. Community Economic Development Strategy (optional)
  13. Pro forma financial information and analyses for the proposed project(s), Network diagram and system design, and acceptance for the project to also be considered for the Treasury’s Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund.
  14. Applicant must be registered on Sam.gov

 

3-stage review process

 

  1. Initial Administrative and Eligibility Review of Applications
  2. Merit review
  3. Programmatic review