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Broadband Funding Opportunities

Middle Mile Grant Program

Application Due Date: September 30, 2022

National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA), US Department of Commerce

Eligible Applicants: State, political subdivision of a state, Tribal government, technology company, electric utility, utility cooperative, public utility district, telecommunications company, telecommunications cooperative, nonprofit entity, regional planning council, Native entity, economic development authority, or any partnership of two or more of these entities.

Expected Award Amount: Award will not cover more than 70% of project expenses. NTIA expects the program to be within a funding range of $5,000,000 – $100,000,000.

As part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, this program is designed to fund the construction, improvement, or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure.


Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grants

Application Due Date: October 14, 2022

US Department of Labor

Eligible Applicants: Applicants my apply as individual IHEs or as a consortium of IHEs (IHEs in which the associates degree is generally the highest degree awarded)

Note: Consortia’s must apply as either state focused, labor-market focused, or affinity focused

Funding amounts:

  1. SCC Program Grants: 5-7 consortia grants between $1.5M-$5M and 6-8 single institution grants between $1.5M-$1.6M
  2. Additional Evaluation Funding: Up to $5M is set aside for this additional funding for 2-4 applicants

The purpose of the program is to fund proposals that 1) increase the capacity and responsiveness of community colleges to address identified equity gaps and 2) to meet the skill development needs of employers in in-demand industries and career pathways and the needs of marginalized and underrepresented workers.

Funding Opportunity Number: FOA-ETA-22-02


The Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect)

Applications open September 6, 2022 – November 2, 2022

Rural Utilities Service, USDA

Eligible Applicants: Corporations, Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partners, Cooperatives or mutual organizations, States or political subdivisions of states, US territories, Native Tribes

Note: Co-Applicants are not eligible entities, if two entities want to partner, one must take the lead on submitting the application

Grant and Loan Funding Amounts:

  • 100 Percent Grant: Up to $25M can be requested, with 25% matching funds required
  • 100 Percent Grant (for Tribal Governments, Persistent Poverty Areas, and Socially Vulnerable Communities): Up to $25M can be requested with no matching funds required
  • 50 Percent Loan/50 Percent Grant: Maximum amount that can be requested is $25M for the loan and $25M for the grant
  • 100 Percent Loan: Up to $50M can be requested

Eligible Funding Purposes: To fund the construction or improvement of facilities required to provide fixed terrestrial broadband service, to fund the acquisition of an existing system that does not currently provide sufficient access to broadband, and 3% of the total award can be used to fund reasonable pre-application expenses

Link to grants.gov page


Connect Illinois Round 3

This program is temporarily paused and will not be accepting new applications until further notice. If you have any questions please reach out to broadband@illinois.gov. 

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the funds are depleted or application period (June 2024) closes

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity 

Eligible Applicants: Incorporated business or partnership, a political subdivision, a nonprofit organization, a cooperative association, or a limited liability corporation organized for the purpose of expanding broadband access

Note: IL Public Schools are eligible but may be encouraged to leverage other sources of funding first

Award Maximum: $10,000,000

This program is meant to support broadband deployment to expand and strengthen existing broadband network infrastructure, health information technology, telemedicine, distance learning, and public safety in Illinois.


Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis until release of a new NOFO

Economic Development Administration (EDA), US Department of Commerce

Eligible Applicants: District Organization; Indian Tribe / consortium of Tribes; State, County, City, or other State Political Subdivision / consortium of political subdivisions; Institution of Higher Education / consortium of IHEs; Public or Private Non-Profit Organization or Association acting in cooperation with officials of a state political subdivision

Award Ranges: $600,000 – $3,000,000 (Public Works Projects); $150,000 – $1,000,000 (Economic Adjustment Assistance); $500,000 – $2,000,000 (Assistance to Coal Communities and Nuclear Closure Communities)

All programs under this NOFO are meant to provide economically distressed communities and regions with comprehensive and flexible resources to address a wide variety of needs through funding creative construction and non-construction projects that will advance economic prosperity.

CFDA Number: 11.300, 11.307



Affordable Connectivity Program

A permanent replacement for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. See website to see if your household qualifies.

Eligible applicants will receive a $30 monthly discount on their broadband subscriptions ($75 for households on tribal land) and a one-time $100 discount on a tablet, laptop, or desktop

More information can be found HERE


Ameren Cares Program

Request application online

Eligible Applicants: Non-profits within the Ameren Illinois service area

Program Focus Areas: Arts and Culture, Civic and Community, Environment, Health and Human Services, Youth and Education


BNSF Railway Foundation

No deadline to apply, applications reviewed monthly

Eligible applicants: non-profit organizations located near BNSF operations (Metro East is eligible)

Program focus areas: Civic concerns, Cultural experiences, education, health and human services, youth organizations, federally recognized tribal governments


Cisco Product Grant

Eligible Applicants: 501(c)(3) non-profits

Award: $25,000-$50,000 list price of equipment

Program Focus Areas: Education, Economic Empowerment, Critical Human Needs

Awards cisco products to non-profits that need new/more technology to increase their capacity to deliver services.


Geico Philanthropic Foundation

Open yearly January 1 – November 30

Eligible Applicants: 501(c)(3) Non-profits

Program Focus Areas: Education, Engaging the Community, Promoting Equity


Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

Not related to Dell Technologies

Eligible Entities: Non-profits

Does not fund more than 25% of a project’s budget

The foundation funds projects that directly serve children or youth from low-income communities in the areas of education, health, and family economic stability.



No deadline

Eligible applicants: Non-profit organizations focused on at least one of the funding priorities

Program Focus Areas: Economic and Community Development, Education and Workforce Readiness, Financial Wellness



Eligible Entities:  Non-profits

Sony aims to give its funding to projects focused on education in the areas of art, culture, technology, and the environment.


Stay connected K-12

Spectrum Enterprise

A program which allows schools to offer internet to students and teachers at their home, and easily add and take away households on the network as needed.


T-Mobile Project 10Million

Eligible Applicants: Parent/guardian of a student enrolled in the National School Lunch Program

Award: 100GB of mobile data/year for five years, mobile hotspot, low-cost devices

Separate program for school administrators – must fill out online form


Special Programs

Webinar Series

Illinois Office of Broadband and Illinois Extension partnered for a webinar series to aid community leaders in planning for broadband expansion



Find Federal Grants

NTIA Broadband USA


Stay Informed

Illinois Office of Broadband

Benton Institute

Find Affordable Internet in Your Area


Free Digital Literacy Trainings (learners and trainers)



For questions about broadband grants and other resources please contact Mary Gay at mary@leadershipcouncilswil.com