Comptroller solicits broadband infrastructure grant applications
Texas Comptroller, Glenn Hegar, announced an initial round of grants for broadband infrastructure projects with $120 million in funding available as part of its Broadband Development Office’s (BDO) Bringing Online Opportunities to Texas (BOOT) program. The BDO will accept grant applications from April 3 to May 5, 2023.
The BOOT program will support broadband infrastructure projects in eligible areas that bring reliable, affordable internet service to communities in need. CAPCOG counties that have eligible areas include Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Lee, Llano, Travis, and Williamson.
“This is an important step that my agency is taking to fulfill our legislative directive to connect every Texan to broadband service,” Hegar said. “Nearly 7 million Texans don’t have access to broadband services. That’s 7 million Texans who can’t access job postings, telemedicine appointments, work or educational opportunities from home. This grant process is a big start in bridging that digital divide.”
Eligible broadband infrastructure projects must be designed to deliver, upon completion, broadband service that reliably meets or exceeds symmetrical speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). Awarded applicants must also provide a universally available low-cost option for locations being served by the project and participate in a federal broadband subsidy program.
The notice of funding availability (NOFA) and applicants have until March 17 to submit questions and allow the agency to correct the solicitation through the addendum process.
Get the NOFA at TxSmartBuy.
Find additional information about the application process, guidance materials and to sign up for future broadband initiatives updates.
The BDO was established by the state Legislature in 2021 and housed within the Texas Comptroller’s office to help close the digital divide in Texas. The BOOT program is the state’s first competitive broadband grant program focused on last mile connectivity: connecting end users to high-speed internet. Through the BDO, the state of Texas has been allocated $363.8 million through the federal Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund to carry out critical infrastructure projects related to expanding access to high-speed internet. BDO will distribute funds allocated to Texas through a multi-round competitive grant process, with the first round of funds totaling $120 million.
In January, the BDO published the Texas Broadband Development Map to identify eligible areas of the state for funding projects. Applications must only include unserved and underserved broadband serviceable locations in these eligible areas.