State Broadband Expansion Center
Resources for developing a state broadband program
Identify Funding Sources
After determining the areas you want to target and estimating how much capital it will require, it will be time to identify or revisit where the funds will come from. If you already have a budget, proceed to the next step. If you don’t, this is where you’ll take the analysis created in the previous steps to key stakeholders to inform legislation or allocation of funds for an overall program budget. The typical sources of broadband funding here are state budget allocations, state-level incentives (tax credits, loan guarantees, etc.), and, as is the case in 2021, federal funding. The latter is not historically common, so states would be wise to leverage those funds.
A common question(s) at this stage: How long will funding be available? Are there milestones necessary to maintain funding? Will the funding be adequate to support long-term presence in funding areas, or could it lead to stranded networks?
Close Gap Between Sources and Actual Capital Needed
In most cases, Phase I will result in a shortage between the funding a state likely has available and what they need to hit their target goals. The typical options here are to: ﬁnd more funding (see federal funding), reduce the target % of served (at the future-proof speed), or consider other incentive types (more on this later).
A common question(s) at this stage: If there is a funding gap, where are we comfortable compromising?
American Rescue Plan Act: Each state can receive a minimum of $100 million
CARES Act: Distribution in progress
Infrastructure Legislation: Pending, total pool upwards of $100 billion
Note: Additional information will be added as more details are released about funding programs