Broadband grants and funding opportunities

The US government has released significant funding and grants for broadband infrastructure since the pandemic escalated the need for universal connectivity


If you’re building a broadband network in 2021 or beyond, browse all available funding and broadband grant opportunities below 

Here we provide a summary of the infrastructure focused funding opportunities for rural areas, municipality, county and all telecommunications networks. A number of these are underway and some are awaiting future allocations. 

All broadband grants and funding programs have one goal in mind; to deliver digital equality to all US communities. To honor this, most public funds will have location-based requirements, stringent delivery milestones and considerable reporting obligations to remain compliant.  

Network operators pursuing funding in 2021 should be 100% prepared before the application window opens on how to address these and confident that you have the right partnership and delivery approaches in place. 

Broadband Grants And Funding Opportunities in the U.S. 

NTIA | Consolidated Appropriations Act

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program 

$1 billion

Who: Funding to be directed to Tribal governments and bodies to be used for broadband infrastructure on tribal lands

Grants will be directed to tribal governments to be used for broadband infrastructure deployment on tribal lands; affordable broadband programs including free or reduced-cost broadband service and preventing disconnection of existing service; and telehealth, 

distance learning, digital inclusion, and broadband adoption activities. 

Application Status: Opening Summer 2021

NTIA | Consolidated Appropriations Act

Broadband Infrastructure Program

$228 million

Who: Partnerships between a state-owned and a fixed broadband service provider. 

Win-win, shared-risk scenarios as between public and private entities: projects in which public entities fund, build, and maintain communications infrastructure assets and their private partners operate those networks and provide services to the public.

Application Status: Opens May 19 and closes August 17, 2021


Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF)

$20.4 billion

Who: 5.4m census blocks locations Ph 1: entirely unserved by voice and broadband, Ph 2: Remaining  unserved and partially served census locations. 

Funds are dispersed via ta reverse auction. A two step application process includes a short and long form, the latter needed after funds are awarded.  

Ensure networks stand the test of time by prioritizing higher speeds and lower latency.

Application Status: Ph 1 allocated 9.2b, Ph 2: remaining 11.2b


Connect America Fund (CAF Phase II) 

$1.49 billion

Who: Eligible carriers who serve consumers in rural areas, insular, and high-cost areas. 

Designed to ensure that consumers in these areas have access to modern communications networks capable of providing voice and broadband service, both fixed and mobile, at rates that are reasonably comparable to those in urban areas.

Application Status: CAF Phase II auction, 103 bidders won $1.49 billion over 10 years to provide fixed broadband and voice services to over 700,000 locations. Authorized service providers have six years to plan and offer broadband to consumers from the date of their authorization.


Ph3: ~600 million

Who: Eligible rural areas 

ReConnect furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to deliver high-speed broadband In Phase 3 this year,  USDA is distributing the funding as grants—a departure from the first two rounds of ReConnect. 

Application Status: 660m awarded in FY19 and 20 respectively, Phase 3 funding to be announced this year.


State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds 

$350 billion

Who: Eligible state, territorial, metropolitan city, county, and Tribal governments. Local governments designated as non-entitlement units are eligible to receive this funding from their applicable state government.

The American Rescue Plan provides emergency funding, including:

  • $195 billion for states, (a minimum of $500 million for each State);
  • $130 billion for local govts
  • $20 billion for tribal govts
  • $4.5 billion for territories

The Rescue Plan will lay the foundation for a strong and equitable economic recovery, and provide resources for  infrastructure, including water, sewer, and broadband services.

Application Status: Eligible governments may now request their allocation of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds through the Treasury Submission Portal here


Capital Projects Fund 

$10 billion

Who: States, territories and Tribal governments with critical capital needs. 

The Capital Projects Fund allows for investment in high-quality broadband as well as other connectivity infrastructure, devices, and equipment. In addition to supporting broadband, it also provides flexibility for each state, territory, and Tribal government to make other investments in critical community hubs or capital assets that provide access jointly to work, education, and health monitoring.

Application Status: Opening Summer 2021

Application timelines and funding allocations are a fast-moving target for many broadband funding and grant programs, and we believe readiness – both application and delivery – is key to success. Subscribe to this page here so we can keep you informed of all grant program and funding updates, as they happen, in one place.

Funding Resources

Live webinar, June 8: Digital approaches to maximize 2021 broadband funding and grants

When applying for broadband funding or grant programs, building technology-enabled efficiencies into your application provide a competitive advantage 

Render’s proven network construction platform delivers significant value to broadband providers at all stages of the funding and delivery process, including:

Planning and scoping accuracy

Prepare your project plan and budget with confidence to enable a competitive application while maintaining build flexibility and a sufficient margin.

Real-time, geospatial project visibility

Seamless real-time tracking of progress against priority service areas enables early identification of at-risk delivery.

Templated, public system compliant reporting

Customized data capture including the customer type, latitude and longitude, priority locations, and distance from network facilities significantly streamline public reporting and compliance requirements. Attempting to achieve this with paper construction prints, Microsoft Project or multiple Excel sheets will require up to 75% more resource and introduce significant risk.

Confidence to meet delivery milestones

Render’s platform captures critical geospatial As-built and post-award data in real-time, providing significant cost and deployment efficiencies and reducing timelines by up to 50%. An accelerated network delivery will provide an opportunity to meet compressed delivery timelines and achieve ‘break-even’ to  connect your community faster.

Craighead Electric Cooperative Corporation (CECC) were required to deploy a 3,000-mile fiber network as efficiently as possible, at minimum cost while maintaining the integrity of their existing network Render have enabled the project to:


ahead of deployment schedule yet 12% under budget


Outside plant is being deployed 84% faster than planned


saving in forecasted resourcing

‘With Render productivity is off the charts, data integrity is high, and construction costs are down, all without ever touching a piece of paper. Now I can’t imagine trying to implement a large-scale utilities construction project without Render.’

Jeremiah Sloan

Manager of Fiber Assets  |  Craighead Electric Cooperative


Render is partnering with network operators interested in the significant productivity and cost benefits of digital, geospatial deployment. Get in touch today for a platform trial.


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