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New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs issues broadband RFP Thumbnail Image

New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs issues broadband RFP

New Hampshire's Department of Business and Economic Affairs issued a request for proposal for the building of broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas of its state on Friday. 

The RFP is available here

Here are some of the details: 

When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early-2020 shuttering businesses and schools
throughout New Hampshire, officials recognized the opportunity being lost on some of the most rural residents who had limited access to a reliable internet connection. 

This lack of connectivity prevented children from learning, families from working, and individuals from being able to seek critical health care services.

In 2020 when Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the State of New Hampshire made the decision to allocate it’s $13 million grant to enhance broadband infrastructure in New Hampshire’s most rural regions. 

In total, New Hampshire funded 16 projects that brought connectivity to over 4,500 households. 

Since the development of this infrastructure, the State has heard countless testimonials from residents whose children were able to maintain their schooling and who were able to keep their jobs even though the world had shifted into remote access – opportunities that were only possible because of the investment that the State made in critical broadbandinfrastructure.

Section 9901 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) amended Section 604 of the Social Security Act (SSA) to include a provision for the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (CPF), giving states access to federal grants to invest in projects that meet three main criteria:

• Invest in capital assets designed to directly enable work, education, and health
monitoring;
• Address a critical need that resulted from or was made apparent or exacerbated by the
COVID-19 public health emergency; and
• Are designed to address a critical need of the community to be served by in.2
New Hampshire has allocated CPF funding to continue its work to expand broadband infrastructure across the state and bring broadband access to households and businesses that are currently unserved1 by an existing broadband network.

The Agency is seeking proposals from qualified applicants to provide high speed broadband connectivity (100Mbps symmetrical upload and download speeds) to as many unserved New Hampshire properties, residences, and businesses as possible; at the least cost to the Agency; and in compliance with all issued CPF guidance and requirements.

The Agency anticipates awarding this contract to a single applicant.
As ARPA federal funds are being used, the Grant Agreement issued will be a sub-award and BEA will be ensuring compliance with all federal guidance and requirements, including the applicable requirements of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 200 (Uniform Guidance) or 2 CFR 200.

The winning bidder will be awarded a portion of the allocated CPF funds, not to exceed $50
million.

Projects must be completed as soon as possible but no later than December 31, 2026, including
the submission and approval of all project closeout documentation to BEA. 

Grant seekers can explore Broadband Money's detailed New Hampshire connectivity and demographic maps. The maps also offer yield-on-cost snapshots, among other things. 

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