Governor John Carney, Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, members of the General Assembly, and State CIO Jason Clarke announced a $110 million investment to cover every “last mile” of Delaware with high-speed, wired broadband internet service.
The broadband infrastructure investment – funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law on March 11 by President Joe Biden – aims to make Delaware the first state to provide wireline broadband access to every Delaware home and business.
“Delawareans rely on stable internet connections to apply for jobs, help their children do homework, work from home, or continue their education online,” said Governor Carney. “This significant investment will recognize that reality, and make sure all Delaware families have access to high-speed broadband service. We know that’s more important than ever after the lessons we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to thank Delaware’s federal delegation for voting to approve the American Rescue Plan Act, and President Joe Biden for signing this important legislation into law.”
Currently, about 11,600 Delaware homes and businesses lack access to high-speed, wired broadband service. The broadband infrastructure project will target investments to areas currently unserved or underserved, lacking a wireline connection, and will prioritize projects that achieve “last mile” connections to households and businesses.
$90M of this allocation is dedicated to the Delaware Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program which will provide state funding to private partners that commit to building, expanding, and sustaining new broadband service capabilities to unserved rural areas throughout Delaware (analysis of which areas are unserved can be found in the 2021 Delaware Broadband Strategic Plan)
Grant opened on 10/18/2021
Submissions from vendors due 12/17/2021
Awards will be announced in the coming weeks (early 2022).
Current State of Delaware cable television service provider franchisees with existing broadband infrastructure are eligible to apply for these Award Funds
Projects are eligible so long as (1) they will deploy infrastructure and deliver services that meet the program definition of Broadband and (2) will do so in Unserved areas
“Broadband” is defined as fixed, terrestrial internet access with transmission speeds that, at a minimum, provide 100 megabits per second (100 Mbps) download and 20 megabits per second (20 Mbps) upload (but submissions offering 100 megabit per second symmetrical [100 Mbps/100 Mbps] are preferred)
Neither satellite, fixed wireless, nor mobile service can be considered broadband for purposes of this definition
Requires minimum 20% match for PFSA (match may be in cash or in-kind and cannot be used to fund operational costs for the proposed project)
For more information regarding the Delaware Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, please contact (302) 739-4DTI.