Getting Ready for Middle Mile Grants

Apply for and win NTIA funding for middle mile broadband infrastructure.

Getting Ready for Middle Mile Grants helps you to learn how to win NTIA’s Middle Mile grants. It will also help you to organize, manage, and work through your grant application materials in one always-accessible location. It will allow team members and collaborators to access those materials from anywhere.

Use the Getting Ready for Middle Mile Grants module to get a head start on your application research & development, explore your territory with easy-to-use geospatial tools, prepare for local coordination, line up matching funds, and much more.

Who is this for?

This middle mile grants module is intended for eligible applicants looking for middle mile infrastructure funding, as defined by the NTIA’s Middle Mile Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Please note that under the Middle Mile Grant Program, eligible applicants apply to NTIA directly.

These eligible applicants include:

  • States
  • Political Subdivisions of states
  • Tribal governments
  • Technology companies
  • Electric utilities
  • Utility cooperatives
  • Public utility districts
  • Telecommunications companies,
  • Telecommunications cooperatives
  • Nonprofit foundations, corporations, institutions, associations
  • Regional planning councils
  • Native entities
  • Economic development authorities
  • Any partnership of two or more of these entities.

What is the middle mile?

The middle mile NOFO defines “middle mile infrastructure” as “any broadband infrastructure that does not connect directly to an end-user location, including an anchor institution; and includes— (i) leased dark fiber, interoffice transport, backhaul, carrier-neutral internet exchange facilities, carrier-neutral submarine cable landing stations, undersea cables, transport connectivity to data centers, special access transport, and other similar services; and (ii) wired or private wireless broadband infrastructure, including microwave capacity, radio tower access, and other services or infrastructure for a private wireless broadband network, such as towers, fiber, and microwave links.”

Whether you have definite plans already, or need to explore middle mile possibilities, this module is for you. However you must act quickly as applications are due on September 30th!’s tools and resources can save valuable time and effort as you work to win broadband grant funding.

This section can be completed directly, or via your consultant (you’ll be able to invite them to your application model).

The NTIA requires middle mile grant applicants to submit their information via its online portal. But it encourages applicants to maintain a copy of all this information safely in separate documentation.

What’s covered in this section?

Using the platform, you’ll:

  1. Research and develop your middle mile application model foundation. The NTIA strongly encourages middle mile grant applicants to work with state broadband offices to coordinate their network plans. It also asks applicants to document the contractors and partners you will work with, as well as specific last mile service providers that have signed a contract or a letter of intent to connect to the middle mile network.
  2. Identify high-likelihood unserved and underserved areas – months ahead of the Federal Communications Commission’s Fabric maps with the platform. The platform provides you many data sources, which you can use to research, build and save areas of interest.
  3. Identify and engage key stakeholders – community leaders, community anchor institutions, commercial entities, project collaborators, and more.
  4. Understand connectivity and performance histories, survey and document current service availability, and determine strategies for expanded broadband infrastructure and services.
  5. Answer key questions and create narratives explaining your communities’ level of need
  6. Prepare for next steps: Establish your profile for application submission, local coordination and matching funds.
  7. Start planning for the significant reporting and performance measurement requirements required by NTIA for Middle Mile grant winners. Your application model will be key to helping you to easily sail through the process and submit the required reports and documentation of your project’s progress.
  8. Learn about what you have to do to stay compliant once you win grant funding.

In this section, you’ll:

Get ready for the NTIA’s Enabling Middle Mile Infrastructure Grant Program

Figure out everything you need to apply for an IIJA middle mile grant application. NTIA has supplied direct guidance and an application checklist to applicants with its Enabling Middle Mile Infrastructure Grant Program Guidance Package.

The NTIA expects to provide middle mile project applicants with grants ranging from $5 million to $100 million. Applicants must finish their middle mile projects within five years after NTIA makes the award.

Get setup for effective local coordination

In Getting Ready for Middle Mile Grants, you’ll develop your profile, which will be used to pair you with great prospective partners in the upcoming local coordination section.

Potential partners searching for strong providers will find you through your profile, so make sure to fill it out completely.

Getting Ready for Middle Mile Grants helps you put your best foot forward and will guide you as you engage with state, local and community partners and stakeholders.

Tools included for NTIA’s Enabling Middle Mile Infrastructure Grant Program

You’ll get to know a few broadband grant tools in this section:

  • Easy-to-use geospatial insights platform with accurate broadband data
  • Application Model Questionnaires to help you build your application
  • Yield-on-Cost Estimator. Use it to create priority areas
  • Community Broadband Toolkit & Ready Strength Test
  • Service Provider Profile & Comparisons