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Grant Applicant's Checklist

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Checklist for Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act

Broadband.money is the fastest way to help complete grant applications under the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act. The framework for the grant application comes from the legislation that passed the Senate on August 10, 2021, and the House on November 5, 2021. The final rules and funding opportunity parameters for the program have not been determined. But the law, and past practice, makes it likely that the following areas will need to be addressed in grant application:

Administrative details

  • Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System. It is highly likely that applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and current registrations in the System for Award Management (gov) and Grants.gov. Remember that the SAM.gov registration process typically takes 3-5 business days but could take more than 3 weeks.
  • Application Deadline. Keep an eye on forthcoming notices from the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
  • Broadband.money provides you with the step-by-step directions that you need to understand the process and deadlines, including the big picture and the fine details, for your IIJA grant application.

Understanding unserved and underserved areas

  • The legislation gives the NTIA specific formulas by which to dole out the funds. Specifically, states must submit five-year plans to be approved by the agency. Grantees would apply for project funds from the state, and the federal legislation establishes a couple of standards for “broadband” through the definitions of “unserved” and “underserved.”
  • Unserved” locations are those that, according to soon-to-be updated federal broadband maps, can be served with broadband. But these “unserved” locations have no access to broadband at all, or access only to services with internet service speeds of less than 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload. Additionally, “unserved” locations doesn’t have access to broadband with latency rates that support “real-time, interactive applications.” Meanwhile “underserved” means serviceable areas in which  at least 80 percent of the area includes service with at speeds between 25 Mbps and 100 Mbps for download -- and between 3 Mbps and 100 Mbps for upload.
  • Broadband.money helps by providing tools to understand whether a location is served, underserved, or unserved, including — as targeted by the IIJA — whether it is likely to be a “high cost” area, or one that is served by “anchor institutions.”

Register with your state broadband office:

  • In addition to the requirements that one register with the federal government through ID.me and Sam.gov, it makes sense for applicants to build a strong relationship with your state broadband office, as these offices will have an important role in distributing funds under the IIJA.
  • Broadband.money can help provide you with connections to your state broadband office, including information about each state office, news from each state, and the opportunity to network with other applicants within your state.

Broadband.money can assist with other key reminders, including:

  • Project Narrative. Remember that the project narrative must include an executive summary not to exceed two pages. NTIA may use the executive summary for public information or outreach purposes, so do not include information regarding trade secrets, other confidential commercial or financial information. See 15 C.F.R. §4.9(c) concerning the designation of business information by the applicant.
  • Project Activities. The Project Activities section of the application must include details about the specific grant-funded activities you plan to carry out: describe who will plan implement, and manage the project; include the lead organization and principle partner organizations; and include the project schedule, including project deliverables, important milestones, and the sequence of project activities.
  • Budget Preparation. Identify the cost of all items needed to complete the project over the project period. Budget items must reflect only allowable costs that are consistent with the project scope.
  • Budget documents. Complete the three budget documents: SF-424A Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs; a detailed project budget spreadsheet, and a budget narrative word document. Format the detailed project budget and budget narrative to mirror the cost categories in the SF-424A.
  • Project Budget. The budget must match SF-424A cost categories (personnel, fringe benefits, supplies, contractual, etc.), be spreadsheet-formatted to fit letter-sized paper (8.5” x 11”),and include itemized calculations for each cost placed under the cost categories.
  • Budget Narrative. The budget narrative must be a word document that explains the necessity and basis for all costs, reflects only allowable costs that are consistent with the project scope, and matches the SF-424A cost categories.
  • Project Results and Evaluation. When describing the project’s intended results, include how the project will be evaluated and the benefits of the project; the project’s performance measures; proposed metrics, data planned for collection and other evaluation methodologies.
  • Evaluation Plan. Remember that your evaluation plan must fall within the Department of Commerce’s Human Subjects Projection Framework. The Department’s regulations regarding the protection of human subjects can be found at 15 C.F.R. Part 27.

Understanding options for match capital, and garnering letters of support:

  • Although match capital is not required of all broadband grants, it is a crucial component of grants under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
  • In most cases, 25 percent of funds will be required to be raised by the applicants. In other words, for every $100,000 of cost, you need to be able to supply $25,000.
  • Broadband.money can assist you with the ability to find partners, including equity and debt financing, for your broadband project. In addition, using Broadband.money, you'll be able to publish information about and obtain support for your project.