OEDA News and Events

22
Jan
By Nathan Buehler

State RFP Open for Rural Broadband Projects

To help rural communities of Oregon improve access to broadband, Business Oregon is accepting proposals from communities for up to $500,000 in funding that can be used for planning, engineering, infrastructure, or as matching funds for rural broadband development.

“Business Oregon’s infrastructure financing programs are critical to updating water, wastewater, industrial land, and multi-modal transportation infrastructure statewide, but particularly in rural communities to advance economic development and community health priorities,” said Business Oregon director Chris Harder. “But to ensure long-term growth throughout the state, we must also address 21st century infrastructure needs, and broadband access is critical to rural economic opportunity.”

39% of rural Americans lack access to broadband speeds, compared to only 4% in urban areas. Working to expand and enhance broadband access is part of Business Oregon’s role as the state’s economic development agency, and the agency staffs the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council.

Oregon cities, counties, ports, tribes, cooperatives, non-profit corporations, and public-private partnerships can submit proposals, which are due by February 21, 2018.

The grants may be used for the following:

  • Planning—For projects to organize and engage rural community stakeholders to develop broadband strategic plans for the deployment, adoption, and utilization of broadband infrastructure in their respective communities.
  • Engineering—For projects that have completed plans, a grant may be used for the design and engineering of broadband infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure—For projects that have completed plans and engineering designs, a grant may be used for the construction of broadband infrastructure.
  • Matching Funds—A grant also may be used as matching funds to enable recipients to qualify for grants and loans from federal and private foundation funding programs for broadband planning, engineering, and infrastructure deployment projects.

More information on eligible project requirements, eligibility, and the program application are available here:  http://www.oregon4biz.com/News-&-Media/index.php?a=191

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