In response to the high interest in broadband funding throughout government and industry in 2021, NRTC has formally introduced a new Funding Services group to assist members acquire available loans and grants. It is expanding on already extensive experience in the area, including the drive to help rural broadband providers receive funding through last year’s Rural Digital Opportunities Fund (RDOF) reverse auction.
“NRTC has exceeded my expectations, how thorough they are, how many resources they have. They didn’t come on the broadband scene in just the last year. They’ve been doing this a long time,” said Cody Durham (pictured), assistant general manager for Tishomingo County Electric Power Association in Mississippi. Tishomingo was just one of the members NRTC helped to draw funding through the RDOF auction. With many more funding opportunities awaiting, NRTC Funding Services is ready to work for more happy outcomes.
Members will have an opportunity to learn more about Funding Services during NRTC’s Upcoming TechConnect 2021, Oct. 25-27 in West Palm Beach, FL. A day-long Broadband Solutions breakout session agenda on Oct. 26 begins with a thorough review of last year’s RDOF activity and all the new and existing federal and state programs in 2021. In the morning on Oct. 27, a TechConnect general session dedicates an hour to broadband funding opportunities. Attendees throughout the conference will have a chance to meet with NRTC Broadband Solutions and Funding Service experts to answer all questions. Free registration for NRTC members is now open.
The federal government has enacted in recent months many billions of dollars in funding, mostly through the U.S. Treasury and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Federal agencies are sending funds for broadband infrastructure, tribal connectivity and other programs through state governments. Access to these funds often is complicated by rules requiring service providers to partner with state, county or local authorities on broadband projects.
At the same time, more funds are flowing toward the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s established ReConnect Program and billions of additional dollars will become available perhaps as early as 2022 through the FCC’s RDOF Phase II reverse auction. Tens of billions in broadband funding could be coming through the Infrastructure Bill that Congress and the White House currently are debating.
Broadband is not the only target for funding. Congress also has set aside money for the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Energy to distribute assistance for smart grid and other electric utility-related projects.
It is a very big picture. There is a vast number of government agencies, new statues, regulatory application rules, private companies and other complicating factors to navigate before rural providers see any of these funds. NRTC Funding Services with expanded staff and resources beyond previous funding assistance activities, stands ready to assist. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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