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Application and Submission Information

This Section sets out information regarding how Eligible Entities may apply for and use BEAD Program funding, including a link to the online application portal, formatting instructions, certification requirements, submission timelines, and eligible uses for funding. It also provides information regarding certifications that prospective subgrantees must make in order to be eligible for subgrants.

A. Single Application

The governor (or equivalent official) of an Eligible Entity that wishes to be awarded a grant under the BEAD Program shall select an administering entity for that Eligible Entity, which shall serve as the recipient of, and administering agent for, any BEAD Program grant awarded to the Eligible Entity under this Section. An Eligible Entity may submit only one LOI, request for Initial Planning Funds, one Initial Proposal, and one Final Proposal, subject to the revision provisions described in Sections IV.B.5.d.ii and IV.B.9.d.ii.

B. Address to Request Application Package

Application forms and instructions are available at https://grants.ntia.gov/. Applications will be accepted until the deadline and will be processed as received. Application packages, or portions thereof, submitted by email, paper, or facsimile will not be accepted.

With respect to electronic methods for providing information about funding opportunities or accepting applicants’ submissions of information, NTIA is responsible for compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by the Workforce Act of 1998.

C. Content and Form of Applications

See Section IV.B .

D. Certifications Regarding Debarment and Suspension

By signing and submitting an application for funding pursuant to the BEAD Program, the Eligible Entity is making the following certifications (see Line 21 on Form SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance):

1. Instructions for Primary Tier Participant Certification:

  1. By signing and submitting this proposal, the prospective primary tier participant is providing the certification set out below and agrees to comply with the requirements of 2 C.F.R. Parts 180, 1200 and 1326.
  2. The inability of a person to provide the certification required below will not necessarily result in denial of participation in this covered transaction. The prospective primary tier participant shall submit an explanation of why it cannot provide the certification set out below. The certification or explanation will be considered in connection with the department or agency’s determination whether to enter into this transaction. However, failure of the prospective primary tier participant to furnish a certification or an explanation shall disqualify such person from participation in this transaction.
  3. The certification in this clause is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when the department or agency determined to enter into this transaction. If it is later determined that the prospective primary tier participant knowingly rendered an erroneous certification, in addition to other remedies available to the federal government, the department or agency may terminate this transaction for cause or default or may pursue suspension or debarment.
  4. The prospective primary tier participant shall provide immediate written notice to the department or agency to which this proposal is submitted if at any time the prospective primary tier participant learns its certification was erroneous when submitted or has become erroneous by reason of changed circumstances.
  5. The terms covered transaction, civil judgment, debarment, suspension, ineligible, participant, person, principal, and voluntarily excluded, as used in this clause, are defined in 2 C.F.R. Parts 180, 1200 and 1326. You may contact the department or agency to which this proposal is being submitted for assistance in obtaining a copy of those regulations.
  6. The prospective primary tier participant agrees by submitting this proposal that, should the proposed covered transaction be entered into, it shall not knowingly enter into any lower tier covered transaction with a person who is proposed for debarment under 48 C.F.R. Part 9, Subpart 9.4, debarred, suspended, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this covered transaction, unless authorized by the department or agency entering into this transaction.
  7. The prospective primary tier participant further agrees by submitting this proposal that it will include the clause titled “Instructions for Lower Tier Participant Certification” including the “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion-Lower Tier Covered Transaction,” provided by the department or agency entering into this covered transaction, without modification, in all lower tier covered transactions and in all solicitations for lower tier covered transactions and will require lower tier participants to comply with 2 C.F.R. Parts 180, 1200 and 1326.
  8. A participant in a covered transaction may rely upon a certification of a prospective participant in a lower tier covered transaction that it is not proposed for debarment under 48 C.F.R. Part 9, Subpart 9.4, debarred, suspended, ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from the covered transaction, unless it knows that the certification is erroneous. A participant is responsible for ensuring that its principals are not suspended, debarred, or otherwise ineligible to participate in covered transactions. To verify the eligibility of its principals, as well as the eligibility of any prospective lower tier participants, each

participant may, but is not required to, check the System for Award Management

Exclusions website (https://www.sam.gov/).

  1. Nothing contained in the foregoing shall be construed to require establishment of a

system of records in order to render in good faith the certification required by this clause. The knowledge and information of a participant is not required to exceed that which is normally possessed by a prudent person in the ordinary course of business dealings.

  1. Except for transactions authorized under paragraph 6 of these instructions, if a participant in a covered transaction knowingly enters into a lower tier covered transaction with a person who is proposed for debarment under 48 C.F.R. Part 9, Subpart 9.4, suspended, debarred, ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this transaction, in addition to other remedies available to the federal government, the department or agency may terminate the transaction for cause or default.

2. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters - Primary Tier Covered Transactions:

1. The prospective primary tier participant certifies to the best of its knowledge and belief, that it and its principals:

a. Are not presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participating in covered transactions by any federal department or agency; 

  1. Have not within a three-year period preceding this proposal been convicted of or had a civil judgment rendered against them for commission of fraud or a criminal offense in connection with obtaining, attempting to obtain, or performing a public (federal, Eligible Entity, or local) transaction or contract under a public transaction; violation of federal or Eligible Entity antitrust statutes or commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, making false statements, or receiving stolen property;
  2. Are not presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (federal, Eligible Entity or local) with commission of any of the offenses enumerated in paragraph 1.a.i of this certification; and
  3. Have not within a three-year period preceding this application/proposal had one or more public transactions (federal, Eligible Entity, or local) terminated for cause or default.

2. Where the prospective primary tier participant is unable to certify to any of the statements in this certification, such prospective participant shall attach an explanation to this proposal.

3. Instructions for Lower Tier Participant Certification (applies to subgrantees):

  1. By submitting this proposal and accepting federal funding, the prospective lower tier participant is providing the certification set out below and agrees to comply with the requirements of 2 C.F.R. Parts 180, 1200 and 1326.
  2. The certification in this clause is a material representation of fact upon which reliance was placed when this transaction was entered into. If it is later determined that the prospective lower tier participant knowingly rendered an erroneous certification, in addition to other remedies available to the federal government, the department or agency with which this transaction originated may pursue available remedies, including suspension or debarment.
  3. The prospective lower tier participant shall provide immediate written notice to the person to which this proposal is submitted if at any time the prospective lower tier participant learns that its certification was erroneous when submitted or has become erroneous by reason of changed circumstances.
  4. The terms covered transaction, civil judgment, debarment, suspension, ineligible, participant, person, principal, and voluntarily excluded, as used in this clause, are defined in 2 C.F.R. Parts 180, 1200 and 1326. You may contact the person to whom this proposal is submitted for assistance in obtaining a copy of those regulations.
  5. The prospective lower tier participant agrees by submitting this proposal that, should the proposed covered transaction be entered into, it shall not knowingly enter into any lower tier covered transaction with a person who is proposed for debarment under 48 C.F.R. Part 9, Subpart 9.4, debarred, suspended, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this covered transaction, unless authorized by the department or agency with which this transaction originated.
  6. The prospective lower tier participant further agrees by submitting this proposal that it will include the clause titled “Instructions for Lower Tier Participant Certification” including the “Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion- Lower Tier Covered Transaction,” without modification, in all lower tier covered transactions and in all solicitations for lower tier covered transactions and will require lower tier participants to comply with 2 C.F.R. Parts 180 and 1200.
    • A participant in a covered transaction may rely upon a certification of a prospective participant in a lower tier covered transaction that it is not proposed for debarment under 48 C.F.R. Part 9, Subpart 9.4, debarred, suspended, ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from the covered transaction, unless it knows that the certification is erroneous. A participant is responsible for ensuring that its principals are not suspended, debarred, or otherwise ineligible to participate in covered transactions. To verify the eligibility of its principals, as well as the eligibility of any prospective lower tier participants, each participant may, but is not required to, check the System for Award Management Exclusions website (https://www.sam.gov).
    • Nothing contained in the foregoing shall be construed to require establishment of a system of records in order to render in good faith the certification required by this clause. The knowledge and information of a participant is not required to exceed that which is normally possessed by a prudent person in the ordinary course of business dealings.
    • Except for transactions authorized under paragraph 5 of these instructions, if a participant in a covered transaction knowingly enters into a lower tier covered transaction with a person who is proposed for debarment under 48 C.F.R. Part 9, Subpart 9.4, suspended, debarred, ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participation in this transaction, in addition to other remedies available to the federal government, the department or agency with which this transaction originated may pursue available remedies, including suspension or debarment.


 

4. Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Covered Transactions:

  1. The prospective lower tier participant certifies, by submission of this proposal, that neither it nor its principals is presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participating in covered transactions by any federal department or agency.
  2. Where the prospective lower tier participant is unable to certify to any of the statements in this certification, such prospective participant shall attach an explanation to this proposal.


 

E. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management

Pursuant to 2 C.F.R. Part 25, an applicant or recipient (as the case may be) is required to: (i) be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) before submitting its complete application packet; (ii) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal awarding agency, unless otherwise excepted from these requirements pursuant to 2 C.F.R.

§ 25.110. NTIA will not make a federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time that NTIA is ready to make a federal award pursuant to this NOFO, NTIA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a federal award.

1. Unique Entity Identifier

The U.S. government will use the unique entity identifier (UEI), found in an entity’s SAM.gov registration, for federal awards management, including but not limited to, contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements. The UEI is the primary key to identify an entity throughout the federal awarding lifecycle and in SAM gov. Each Eligible Entity must obtain a UEI.

Each subrecipient must obtain a UEI and provide it to the Eligible Entity. Subrecipients are not required to complete full SAM registration to obtain a UEI. 2 C.F.R. § 25.300.

The SAM-generated UEI (SAM) became the official identifier in April 2022.

For more information on the establishment of an entity’s UEI, please visit http://www.sam.gov.

2. System for Award Management

Eligible Entities must register in the SAM before submitting any submissions through the application portal. Additionally, the Eligible Entity must maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a federal awarding agency. Entities can register for the SAM at https://www.sam.gov/.

F. Submission Dates and Times

Completed letters of intent must be received by NTIA through the application portal no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on July 18, 2022. Eligible Entities that wish to request Initial Planning Funds must submit their requests and required documentation by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) August 15, 2021. Eligible Entities that receive Initial Planning Funds must submit their Five-Year Action Plans to NTIA within 270 days of their receipt of Initial Planning Funds.

Eligible Entities will be notified of future submission deadlines after the Commission’s Broadband DATA Maps are released and the Initial Proposal and Final Proposal process begins. Initial Proposals will be due to NTIA no later than 180 days after issuance of their Notice of Available Amounts.

Submissions submitted by postal mail, courier, email, facsimile, or other means aside from those detailed herein will not be accepted. All application forms and documents must be included with an applicant’s complete application packet submission via NTIA’s application portal.

When developing the submission timeline, each eligible applicant should keep in mind that: (1) all applicants are required to have current registrations in the electronic System for Award Management (SAM.gov) and the free annual registration process in SAM.gov generally takes between three (3) and five (5) business days but can take more than three weeks. Please note that a federal assistance award cannot be issued if the designated recipient’s registration in SAM.gov is not current at the time of the award.

G. Intergovernmental Review

Applications from an Eligible Entity or a political subdivision of the Eligible Entity under this Program are subject to Executive Order 12372, “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs,” which requires intergovernmental consultation with State, Territorial, and local officials. All applicants are required to submit a copy of their applications to their designated Single Point of Contact (SPOC) offices.97

H. Funding Restrictions

1. Eligible Uses of BEAD Program Funds

Grant recipients may only use federal award funds and any non-federal cost share committed to an award to pay for allowable costs under the BEAD Program. Allowable costs are determined in accordance with the cost principles identified in 2 C.F.R. Part 200, including Subpart E of such regulations for States and non-profit organizations, and in 48 C.F.R. Part 31 for commercial organizations,98 as well as in the grant program’s authorizing legislation. In addition, costs must be reasonable, necessary, allocable, and allowable for the proposed project or other eligible activity and conform to generally accepted accounting principles. Funds committed to an award may only be used to cover allowable costs incurred during the period of performance, except for reasonable pre-award expenses as described above, and for allowable closeout costs incurred during the grant closeout process.

2. Ineligible Costs

Ineligible costs include those costs that are unallowable under the applicable federal cost principles. Please note that costs ineligible for the BEAD Program may not be paid for with matching funds committed to an award. If an Eligible Entity is found to have used grant or matching funds on a prohibited cost, the Assistant Secretary may take remedial action, including but not limited to deobligation or clawback of funding.

In addition, grant funds awarded to an Eligible Entity under this program shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, the amounts that the Eligible Entity would otherwise make available for the purposes for which the grant funds may be used.

The following costs are specifically identified as prohibited under the BEAD Program:

  • a. Prohibition On Use of Grant Funds for Covered Communications Equipment or Services under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act
    • An Eligible Entity or subgrantee (including contractors and subcontractors of subgrantees) may not use grant funds received under the BEAD Program to purchase or support any covered communications equipment or service (as defined in Section 9 of the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 (47 U.S.C. § 1608)).
  • b. Prohibition on Profit and Fees
    • A profit, fee, or other incremental charge above actual cost incurred by an Eligible Entity or subgrantee is not an allowable cost under this Program.
  • c. Prohibition on Use of Grant Funds to Support or Oppose Collective Bargaining
    • An Eligible Entity or a subgrantee may not use grant funds, whether directly or indirectly, to support or oppose collective bargaining.
    • Recognized Indian Tribal Governments is determined in accordance with the provisions of 2 C.F.R. Part 200, Subpart E and the allowability of costs for commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of 48 C.F.R. Part 31, unless the Grants Officer decides in writing to apply the cost principles in 2 C.F.R. Part 200, Subpart E, to commercial organizations pursuant to 2 C.F.R. § 200.101(a)(2).

3. Administrative Expenses

An Eligible Entity may not use more than two percent of the grant amounts received under the BEAD Program for expenses relating (directly or indirectly) to administration of the grant under Section 60102(d)(2)(B) of the Infrastructure Act. NTIA will release further guidance on what expenses qualify as “expenses relating (directly or indirectly) to administration of the grant” subject to the statutory two percent limitation on these expenses.

I. Material Representations and Public Disclosure of Applications

All forms and supporting documents submitted as part of the Letter of Intent, Initial Proposal, and Final Proposal will be treated as material representations of fact upon which NTIA will rely in awarding grants. Applicants should acknowledge that NTIA may make all or portions of their applications for grants under the BEAD Program publicly available consistent with applicable federal law. See Section IX.B of this NOFO for additional information concerning the confidentiality of information contained in an application.

J. Other Submission Requirements

Complete applications for the BEAD Program must be electronically submitted through grants.ntia.gov. Late or incomplete applications and applications submitted by mail, courier, or by facsimile will not be accepted.

1. How to Register to Apply and Submit an Application

Applicants should carefully follow specific instructions on the application site at

https://grants.ntia.gov/.

2. Timely Receipt Requirements and Proof of Timely Submission

Applicants should carefully follow specific instructions on the application site at https://grants.ntia.gov/ to successfully submit an application or other required materials. Applicants, specifically the Authorized Organization Representative submitting the application and materials, will receive a time and date stamped email from the NTIA Grants Portal confirming the submission and receipt of the application or other required documents, e.g., Letter of Intent, Initial Proposal, Final Proposal.

3. Amendments

Any amendments to this NOFO or additional Program guidance will be announced on NTIA.gov and BroadbandUSA.NTIA.gov.

96 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. § 54.802.

97 See 7 C.F.R. Part 3015, Subpart V.

98 The government has established a set of principles for determining eligible or allowable costs. Allowable costs are determined in accordance with the cost principles applicable to the entity incurring the costs. For example, the allowability of costs incurred by State, Territorial, local or Federally