Colorado is launching a new grant program to support broadband expansion and modernization through the deployment of more than $500 million from Federal programs to broadband infrastructure projects to bridge the digital divide.
The Colorado Broadband Office (CBO) housed in the state’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) will lead the grant program, Advance Colorado Broadband, and is calling on broadband partners to submit a letter of intent for the grants no later than July 18.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted our need to be able to work, learn, and access critical services virtually. High-speed internet is critical to advancing Colorado’s technological and economic growth,” said Brandy Reitter, CBO executive director in a statement. “We want to ensure that all Coloradans have affordable, equitable, and reliable access to high-speed internet. The Advance Colorado Broadband grant program will develop infrastructure to support our residents now and well into the future.”
The letters of intent will be reviewed by CBO and prioritize community-driven projects where stakeholders plan to work together in addressing the state’s broadband needs.
Advance Colorado Broadband funding will come from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and Infrastructure Investment Jobs Act (IIJA) program. The Capital Projects Fund (CPF) under ARPA will provide $171 million, and $5 million to $100 million will be from the Enabling Middle Mile Program for middle mile infrastructure improvements.
Further, additional funding will come from Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment expected in 2024.