NTIA Seeks Reviewers for Grant Proposals for Broadband Connectivity Programs

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In an effort to help advance national broadband access for all, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce is soliciting experts to evaluate grant proposals for three broadband connectivity programs. The programs will award over $1.5 billion to further national broadband goals and assist with COVID response and recovery efforts.

Volunteers should have expertise and experience in broadband infrastructure, broadband use, and/or digital inclusion. Over the coming months, NTIA will examine and approve reviewer applications based on a first-come, first-serve basis that matches the needs of each program with applicants’ qualifications. NTIA requests applications are submitted no later than July 31, 2021.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, directed NTIA to implement the following programs:

  • Broadband Infrastructure Program: $300 million broadband deployment program directed to partnerships between a state, or one or more political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service to support broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking broadband, especially rural areas.
  • Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program: $1 billion program directed to tribal governments to deploy broadband on tribal lands, as well as for telehealth, distance learning, broadband affordability, and digital inclusion.
  • Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program: $285 million pilot grant program targeting HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs and their anchor communities for the purchase of broadband internet access service, or any eligible equipment, or to hire and train information technology personnel.

NTIA will conduct a merit review of applications submitted to these programs. Teams of technical experts will evaluate applications against established review criteria specific to each program. NTIA projects that merit reviews will start in September and extend into November.

Get information on how to apply to be a merit reviewer and please read the NTIA’s Call for Merit Reviewers and Grant Program Merit Reviewers FAQs.