Iowa Broadband: Deadline Approaching for New Grant Opportunity

June 22, 2023 | Ken Demlow

There is important news for Iowa broadband: Iowa’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (the department that distributes broadband grants) has opened the next opportunity for broadband grants! The Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) #8 provides $148 million for broadband projects through the Federal Capital Project Fund program. There will be other NOFA rounds for the BEAD grants (from the Infrastructure Bill), most likely starting in early 2024.

Iowa Broadband Grant Application Process

NOFA #8 is open now, and grant applications will be accepted until August 25, 2023, at 5:00 pm. For more information or to ask questions, there is a Pre-Application Conference on June 28, 2023, at 2:00 pm CST. Additional questions can be asked from June 28, 2023, until July 7, 2023.

There is a minimum match of 20%, unless you are in one of the designated Iowa Broadband Intervention Zones. Earlier this year, the Broadband Office had a process that provided communities the opportunity to define the areas that have the largest broadband challenges. The State selected and ranked those Zones, and they will get either more points in the grant application rating or less match required (there is a map for that on their website). If you are in one of these zones, working towards having some entity apply for a grant is a particularly good idea.

The entity that applies for the grant will be required to be a broadband provider (either a community, an electric cooperative, or a private provider). All grant-funded broadband construction work has to be completed by September 30, 2026.

The entity applying for a NOFA #8 grant must quickly prepare some things. 

  • Coordinating the grant application process
  • Prepare the grant application
  • Project map/high-level design
  • Project costs (Budget Plan)
  • Plan for getting letters of support
  • Alignment with the Broadband Intervention Zones
  • If this follows other broadband grants in Iowa, additional points are allocated for having a professional engineer stamp the entity’s high-level design

To view additional resources and details on this grant opportunity for Iowa Broadband, visit Iowa’s Office of the Chief Information Officer website. The timeline for Notice of Funding Availability #008 including steps and dates, are described below (all dates are subject to change).

Schedule of Important Dates

NOFA #008 Pre-Publication Notice6/15/2023
Pre-Application Conference6/28/2023, 2:00 PM CST
Written Questions Submissions6/28/2023 – 7/07/2023
Responses Posted By7/14/2023
Application Acceptance Window Opens7/14/2023
Application Acceptance Window Closes/Applications Due8/25/2023, 5:00 PM CST
Application Review Ends9/22/2023
Final Agency Decisions(s)/Notice of Intent to Award9/22/2023
Grant Agreement Negotiations and Execution10/27/2023

With many things to complete and approaching deadlines, HR Green can help! Contact us today!

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