Home » Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability #007

Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability #007

Application Acceptance Window is now open.
 
OFFICIAL NOTICE. October 25, 2021. Governor Reynolds is making available up to $200,000,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds for broadband expansion in Iowa. To distribute these funds, the Office of the Chief Information Officer is issuing Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) #007 for the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program. On October 25, 2021, the Office issued Notice of Funding Availability #007 which begins the Application Acceptance Window for this NOFA. The Application Acceptance Window is now open. The window to submit Applications is open until November 22, 2021 at 5:00 CST.


Pre-Application Conference

On October 14, 2021, the Office held a Pre-Application Conference to discuss a high-level view of the program, including the requirements prescribed by this NOFA. Participants were given an opportunity to ask questions at this time. Video recordings of the pre-application conference will be posted in the Instructional Videos For Applicants section below. The posting will occur the week of October 25, 2021.

The following information concerning OCIO Broadband Grant Program Notice of Funding Availability #007 can be found below:

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Purpose

The purpose of this NOFA is to solicit Applications from Communications Service Providers for Broadband Infrastructure Projects that will have the greatest overall effect of reducing or eliminating Unserved or Underserved Areas in the State through the installation of Broadband Infrastructure. Funds for this grant round have been allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (“CSLFRF”) to provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Program Design

The funds available for Award under this NOFA is up to $200,000,000 and shall be distributed to Applicants proposing projects that will Facilitate Broadband at 100/100 or faster, or 100/20 or faster in Eligible Service Areas. The total amount of CLSFRF that may be requested may not exceed 60% of the actual or originally estimated (whichever is less) Total Project Costs. Note: For this NOFA, the Office is also pre-publishing the scoring rubric for NOFA #007 including the weights to be applied to each scored category. Refer to the Scoring Rubric in the Project Documentation section for more information concerning weights assigned to each scored category. Applicants seeking higher scores, and thus increasing the likelihood of receiving awarded funds, are encouraged to pay attention to proposed weighting in designing their Projects.

Applications must be designed to provide last-mile broadband service to homes, schools, and businesses in unserved and underserved areas as defined in 35 C.F.R. § 35.1 (“Unserved and Underserved Households and Businesses”) that: (1) reliably meets or exceeds 100/100 Broadband; or (2) in cases where it is not practicable, because of the excessive cost of the project or geography or topography of the area to be served by the project, to provide 100/100 Broadband that reliably meets or exceeds 100/20 Broadband. Applications shall define a single Project proposing a buildout speed of 100/100 Broadband or faster or 100/20 Broadband or faster, but not both within the same Project.

For Wireless Projects, the proposed wireless network backhaul must be “future proof,” meaning that the network backhaul is capable of Facilitating 100/100 or 100/20, whichever is applicable, to every home, school, and business within the Project Area upon Project Completion.

Projects proposing to Facilitate 100/20 Broadband must be scalable to 100/100 within 3 years of the Project Completion date.

Eligible Service Areas have been determined using Map V4 with an additional data layer to identify Census Blocks within which no provider offers wireline service at speeds greater than or equal to 25/3 Broadband consistent with the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Requirements established by the U.S. Department of Treasury. Eligible Service Areas will be published by the Office on October 14, 2021 on this website.

The scoring rubric has been posted in conjunction with the pre-issuance of the NOFA (see Program Documentation) to allow Applicants to account for the points allotted to each category when determining their Project area(s).

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Schedule of Important Dates

The timeline for Notice of Funding Availability #007 including steps and dates, are described below (all dates are subject to change):

GRANT TIMELINE DATE
NOFA #007 Pre-Publication Notice 10/11/2021
Pre-Application Conference 10/14/2021, 2:00 PM CDT
Eligible Service Areas Posted Online 10/14/2021
Written Questions Due By 10/22/2021
Responses Posted By 10/25/2021
Application Acceptance Window Opens 10/25/2021
Application Acceptance Window Closes/Applications Due 11/22/2021, 5:00 PM CST
Application Review Ends 12/31/2021
Final Agency Decisions(s)/Notice of Intent to Award (Anticipated) 12/31/2021
Grant Agreement Negotiations and Execution 1/31/2022

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Applications Received

The Office will post all Applications received in response to this NOFA after the Application Acceptance Window Closes on November 22, 2021. An exact date of publication will be determined following the closure of the Application  Acceptance Window. Check back after that date to find public versions of all Applications received.

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Program Documentation

Information concerning the grant application process, including all application materials, agreements, and program information are provided below. All Applications to this NOFA are required to be submitted electronically through the Iowa Grants System, as part of Funding Opportunity #427424. Note: Exhibits not listed here will be provided at a later time, but not later than the opening of the Application Acceptance Window on October 25, 2021. Some exhibits may be updated following the pre-publication. Updates to program documentation may be identified through amendments issued by the Office or otherwise noted in the list below. 

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Instructional Videos for Applicants

The following instructional videos have been published for Applicants who are interested in receiving additional information about the application process under this NOFA. Note: The links below redirect users to YouTube.

Notice of Funding Availability #007 - Map of Eligible Service Areas

NOTE: TO IDENTIFY ELIGIBLE SERVICE AREAS FOR NOFA #007 ON BROADBAND MAP V4, FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW. ELIGIBLE SERVICE AREAS DO NOT APPEAR AUTOMATICALLY. USERS MUST SELECT THE ELIGIBLE SERVICE AREAS LAYER TO SEE AREAS ELIGIBLE UNDER NOFA #007 TO RECEIVE FUNDING. MORE DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE IN EXHIBIT K - PROJECT SELECTION AND DATA EXPORT/IMPORT INSTRUCTIONS.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR IDENTIFYING ELIGIBLE SERVICE AREAS UNDER NOFA #007 ON THIS MAP
To turn on this layer, click the Layer List icon  in the top right-hand corner of the map. Check the box labeled "NOFA007 Eligible Service Areas." Eligible Service Areas will then appear in yellow. These are areas within which no provider has reported to the Office on Broadband Map V4 that they facilitate wireline broadband service as speeds of 25/3 or faster. Consisted with guidelines from U.S. Treasury for CSLFRF, these are the areas that are eligible under NOFA #007.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR TURNING OFF NON-APPLICABLE LAYERS UNDER NOFA #007 ON THIS MAP

This NOFA is NOT based on Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 Targeted Service Areas as defined in Iowa Code Chapter 8B. To provide for easier navigation of the map, this layer can be disabled. It is NOT used for NOFA #007 Project selection. To disable this layer, click the Layer List icon  in the top right-hand corner of the map.  Uncheck the boxes labeled "Iowa Broadband V4 (Overview)" and "Iowa Broadband Blocks v4 (July 2021)."

INSTRUCTIONS FOR IDENTIFYING AREAS THAT HAVE RECEIVED PRIOR AWARDS FROM THE OFFICE

Prior awards made by the Office that will result in 25/3 Wireline or faster speeds may be removed from Applications, resulting in reduced award amounts for winning Applications under this NOFA. The Office has developed a map layer that shows prior award areas that meet the 25/3 Wireline or faster standard. To turn on this layer, click the Layer List icon  in the top right-hand corner of the map. Check the box labeled "IA Broadband Previous Incentive Blocks." These areas will appear in pink. These are areas that Applicants are advised to NOT include in the selection of the Census Blocks submitted as part of Applications under NOFA #007.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOWNLOADING SHAPE FILE ASSOCIATED WITH ELIGIBLE SERVICE AREAS

Click the following links to download shape files for Eligible Service Areas:

ESRI Shapefile (Statewide Zipped 42.81MB)
Google Earth KMZ (Individual Counties Zipped 38.04MB) 

Open Map of Awarded Applications in New Window

Printed from the Office of the Chief Information Officer website on November 27, 2021 at 1:38pm.