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Middle Mile Grant Program
A - Primarily intended to fund technology
Department of Commerce (DoC)
The Middle Mile Infrastructure grant program is designed to encourage the expansion and extension of middle mile infrastructure to reduce the cost of connecting unserved and underserved areas to the last mile and to promote connection resiliency through the creation of alternative network connection paths that can be designed to prevent single points of failure on a network.
These grants will support a technology-neutral, competitive basis to entities for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure.
Middle mile infrastructure is defined as:
- any broadband infrastructure that does not connect directly to an end-user location, including an anchor institution; and includes—
- leased dark fiber, interoffice transport, backhaul, carrier-neutral internet exchange facilities, carrier-neutral submarine cable landing stations, undersea cables, transport connectivity to data centers, special access transport, and other similar services; and
- wired or private wireless broadband infrastructure, including microwave capacity, radio tower access, and other services or infrastructure for a private wireless broadband network, such as towers, fiber, and microwave links.
Applicants are to agree to prioritize:
- leveraging existing rights-of-way, assets and infrastructure to minimize challenges;
- projects in which the entity designs the route of the infrastructure to enable connection to unserved anchor institutions; projects that facilitate the development of carrier-neutral interconnection facilities; and
- projects that improve resiliency and reduce regulatory and permitting barriers to the construction of new middle mile infrastructure.
History of Funding
None is available.
The NTIA will give priority to applicants that satisfy two or more of the following conditions:
- Adopts fiscally sustainable middle mile strategies;
- Commits to offering nondiscriminatory interconnect to terrestrial and wireless last mile broadband providers and any other party making a bona fide request;
- Identifies specific terrestrial and wireless last mile providers that have (1) expressed written interest in interconnecting with middle mile infrastructure planned to be deployed by the entity and (2) demonstrated sustainable business plans or adequate funding sources with respect to the interconnect;
- Identifies supplemental investments or in-kind support that will accelerate the completion of the planned project; and
- Demonstrates that the middle mile infrastructure will benefit the national security interest of the U.S. and Department of Defense.
The following entities may apply to this program:
- State governments
- Political subdivisions of states
- Tribal governments
- Technology companies
- Electric utilities
- Utility cooperatives
- Public utility districts
- Telecommunications companies
- Telecommunications cooperatives
- Nonprofit foundations
- Nonprofit corporations
- Nonprofit institutions
- Nonprofit associations
- Regional planning councils
- Native entities
- Economic development authorities
Applications are to be submitted by September 30, 2022 by 11:59 p.m., (EST).
Up to $980,000,000 is available in FY22. Award amounts range from $5,000,000 to $100,000,000. A 30% cost match is required. Performance period is 5 years.
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