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Broadband Expansion

Bridging the Digital Divide
through Broadband Expansion

Reliable, secure, broadband internet has become an essential lifeline for all communities and marketplaces, regardless of location, type or size. Yet, there remains an alarming number of U.S. businesses, residents and consumers who are seriously underserved by broadband internet access. These ‘dark spots’ in our shining digital economy compromise our collective quality of life and substantially limit commercial prosperity.

Sand Cherry Associates is dedicated to helping communities bridge this urgent digital divide

Federal and state funding for broadband infrastructure is at an all-time high. This unique moment in time for businesses, governments and service providers presents opportunity to finally, and fully, help close the Digital Divide in our country.

Ubiquitous, high quality broadband connects people to markets, services to people, health providers to patients, educators to students, landowners to agricultural technology. As government and tribal agencies, health providers, educational institutions, and community organizations look to leverage the power of broadband networks, Sand Cherry can help plan, navigate, and make that vision a reality.

Sand Cherry and our network of select Partners

can help you operationalize your strategic plan from start to finish, utilizing a team of subject matter experts in a multitude of functional areas.

Program Management, Data Management, and Reporting as we lead you through Strategic Planning, Funding Applications and Auction Support, Program Design and Vendor Selection, Engineering, IT, and Construction Project Management to Community Outreach, Deployment and execution, and Regulation and Funding Compliance.

Funding Resources

CategoryProgramDescriptionCoverageImportant DatesSponsor
Broadband ExpansionFoundation for Rural Service Community Grant ProgramGrants to support a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural communities across America. Focus areas include business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. NationwideEvery Year on Aug 30Foundation for Rural Service 08/30/2022
Broadband ExpansionAARP Community ChallengeThe AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Applications are accepted for projects to improve public spaces, housing, transportation, civic engagement, coronavirus recovery, diversity and inclusion, and more.NationwideAARP12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionTelecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Loan GuaranteesLoans and loan guarantees for the construction, maintenance, improvement, and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA Rural Utilities Service 
Broadband ExpansionVirtual Living Room - Using Technology to Address the Critical Healthcare Needs of Veterans in Rural AreasA grant program that combines rural technology, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs resources, and local support to provide solutions to improve healthcare access for veterans in rural areas. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Foundation for Rural Service,
NTCA: The Rural Broadband Association
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
Broadband ExpansionRural Business Service - Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program (REDLG)The program offers loans, grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services such as housing; health care; first responder services and equipment; and water, electric and communications infrastructure.NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis U.S. Department of Agriculture12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionThe ReConnect Loan and Grant ProgramReConnect offers three types of funding options for broadband infrastructure to connect rural families, businesses, farms, ranches, schools, libraries, and public safety facilities to modern, high-speed internet. A rural area is eligible if it currently does not have sufficient access to broadband. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis U.S. Department of Agriculture3/9/2022
Broadband ExpansionNorth Carolina Economic Infrastructure ProgramGrants to support infrastructure projects related to drinking water, wastewater, broadband, natural gas lines, railways, and roadways in rural areas of North Carolina. North CarolinaApplications accepted on an ongoing basis North Carolina Department of Commerce 12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionNorth Carolina Open Grants ProgramGrants for projects that strengthen North Carolina's long-term economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities in the areas of agriculture, economic development, workforce preparedness, healthcare, education, and community vitality. North CarolinaApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Golden Leaf Foundation12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionRural Relief Small Business Grant - LISCAs part of continuing commitment to elevate impact in rural America, LISC is inviting small business owners in rural locations across the country to apply for the LISC-Lowe's Rural Relief Small Business Grants program.NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis LISC12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionCERB Rural Broadband Program Low interest loan or loan/grant packages to build infrastructure to provide high-speed, open-access broadband service to rural underserved communities in Washington for the purpose of community economic development. WashingtonWashington State Department of Commerce 12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionConnecting Minority Communities Pilot ProgramA $268 million grant program directed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions for the purchase of broadband internet access service and eligible equipment or to hire and train information technology personnel.Nationwide12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionTribal Broadband Connectivity ProgramA $980 million program directed to tribal governments to be used for broadband deployment on tribal lands, as well as for telehealth, distance learning, broadband affordability, and digital inclusion.Nationwide12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionBroadband Infrastructure ProgramA $288 million broadband deployment program directed to partnerships between a state, or one or more political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service to support broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking broadband, especially rural areas.Nationwide12/31/2022
Broadband ExpansionNational Telecommunications and Information AdministrationNTIA administers grant programs that further the deployment and use of broadband and other technologies in America.Nationwide12/31/2022
EducationE-Rate - Schools & Libraries USF ProgramThe schools and libraries universal service support program, commonly known as the E-rate program, helps schools and libraries to obtain affordable broadband.NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basisFCC12/31/2022
EducationAmerican Indian Tribally Controlled Colleges and UniversitiesThis program helps eligible institutions of higher education increase their self-sufficiency by providing funds to improve and strengthen the academic quality, institutional management, and fiscal stability of eligible institutions. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basisU.S. Department of Education12/31/2022
EducationAbell Foundation GrantsThe Abell Foundation is dedicated to the enhancement of the quality of life in Maryland, with a focus on Baltimore City.  The Foundation is committed to improving the lives of underserved populations by supporting innovative, results-oriented efforts to solve systemic social, economic, and environmental problems. MarylandApplications accepted on an ongoing basisAbell Foundation12/31/2022
TelehealthIdaho Rural Health Care Access Program (RHCAP) Awards funding to projects that help rural communities improve access to primary medical and dental healthcare through telehealth, community development, and recruitment/retention projects. IdahoEvery Year on Aug 30Idaho Bureau of Rural Health and Primary Care 08/30/2022
TelehealthFoundation for Rural Service Community Grant ProgramGrants to support a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural communities across America. Focus areas include business development, community development, education, and telecommunications. NationwideEvery Year on
Sep 30 
Foundation for Rural Service 09/30/2022
TelehealthRural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants ProgramFunding for community-based outreach education and extension programs at land-grant colleges and universities that provide individuals and families based in rural areas with information on health, wellness, and prevention. Projects should utilize telehealth, telemedicine, and distance learning strategies for education and training in minority rural communities related to opioids, preventing spread of COVID-19, and/or mitigating infection and transmission of COVID-19. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basisNational Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
TelehealthNovarti COVID-19 Community Response FundGrants to support local initiatives and communities in the United States impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Novartis U.S. Foundation 12/31/2022
TelehealthStrengthening Access to Care for Opioid Use Disorder Patients During the COVID-19 National Public Health Emergency: Recovery Support ServicesGrants to support projects designed to strengthen access to evidence-based opioid use disorder recovery services for vulnerable and high-risk populations during the COVID-19 national emergency. NationwideApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Foundation for Opioid Response Efforts 12/31/2022

Broadband Resources by State

StateBroadband InformationFunding Opportunities
AlabamaADECA | Alabama Digital Expansion Division
AlaskaAlaska Department of Commerce of Community and Economic Development | Alaska Broadband OfficeSchool Broadband Assistance Grant- to assist schools to reach internet download speeds of 25 Mbps
American SamoaAmerican Samoa Government Department of Commerce
ArizonaArizona Commerce Authority | BroadbandArizona Rural Broadband Development Grant- for eligible applicants with shovel-ready projects or broadband planning activities

Arizona State Library and Technology Act Grant- for the expansion of services for learning, including digital skills training and extending, upgrading, and assessing library wireless networks
ArkansasARConnectArkansas Rural Connect Grant Program- assist in the deployment or improvement of broadband infrastructure into unserved or improvement to underserved communities

Rural Broadband Grant- funds for broadband development in rural communities across the state
CaliforniaCalifornia Broadband CouncilThe California Advances Services Fund (CASF)
ColoradoColorado Broadband OfficeBroadband Planning Grants- to conduct needs assessments, regional planning, strategies, and solutions to achieve a community’s broadband needs

Connecting Colorado Students Grant Program- to increase services for students, educators, and other staff allows who lack reliable Internet access for online learning
ConnecticutConnecticut State Office of Consumer Counsel | Broadband
DelawareDelaware Department of Technology & Information

Delaware Broadband Initiative
Delaware Broadband Fund- to support broadband services in Delaware schools, public libraries, and rural broadband initiatives
District of ColumbiaDC Office of the Chief Technology Officer
FloridaFlorida Commerce | Office of BroadbandRural Infrastructure Fund-
uses of funds may include improving access to and the availability of broadband Internet service in unserved or underserved rural communities
GeorgiaGeorgia Department of Community Affairs | Georgia Broadband Program
GuamOffice of Technology Government of Guam
HawaiiDBEDT - Hawaii Broadband and Digital Equity Office
IdahoIdaho Commerce | Idaho BroadbandIdaho Broadband Grant Program- promote equal access in economic development, public safety, telehealth and education
IllinoisIllinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity | Broadband ExpansionConnect Illinois- a broadband matching grant program that provides $400 million for competitive broadband grants

Connected Communities Grants- grant provides up to $15,000 to encourage community planning for broadband access, adoption, and implementation
Indiana Indiana Broadband
OCRA: Next Level Connections- expanding access to broadband to all Indiana
IowaIowa Department of Management | Broadband
KansasKansas Commerce | Office of Broadband Development
KentuckyOffice of Broadband DevelopmentBroadband Deployment Fund
MaineMaine Connectivity AuthorityCommunity Broadband Planning and Infrastructure Grant Program- information for both planning grants and infrastructure grants
MarylandMaryland Department of Housing and Community Development | Connect Maryland
MassachusettsMassachusetts Broadband InstituteGateway Cities Program- for small to mid-size regional cities

Flexible Grant Program- supports Last Mile broadband connectivity for certain towns in western Massachusetts

Last Mile Grant Program- use these grants for design, engineering and construction services
MichiganLabor and Economic Opportunity | Michigan High-Speed Internet OfficeConnecting Communities (CMIC) Grant Program- to extend broadband service into unserved areas in Michigan
MinnesotaMN Employment and Economic Development | Office of Broadband DevelopmentBorder to Border Broadband Development Grant Program- invest in building broadband infrastructure into unserved and underserved areas of the state
MississippiBroadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi
MissouriMissouri Department of Economic Development | Office of Broadband ResourcesMissouri Broadband Grant Program (APRA Funds)- to increase broadband internet access, adoption, and assistance statewide
MontanaConnectMT Broadband Program
NebraskaNebraska BroadbandBroadband Bridge Act Grant Program

Nebraska Universal Service Fund- helps keep telecommunications services affordable
NevadaNevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation & Technology | BroadbandNV Education Broadband Grant
New HampshireNew Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs | Office of Broadband Initiatives
New JerseyNJ Office of Broadband Connectivity
New MexicoConnect New Mexico
New YorkNew York State ConnectALL Office
North CarolinaNCDIT Division of Broadband and Digital EquityThe Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Grant- facilitate the deployment of broadband service to unserved areas of North Carolina

Building a New Digital Economy (BAND-NC) Grant- provides rapid-response innovation mini-grants to N.C. communities to fund local digital inclusion projects that meet specific community needs
North DakotaNorth Dakota Information Technology | Broadband
Northen Mariana IslandsCommonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Office of Planning and Development
OhioBroadband Ohio
OklahomaOklahoma Broadband OfficeOneNet
OregonBusiness Oregon | Oregon Broadband Office
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development | Broadband in PennsylvaniaPrograms and Funding
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority
Rhode IslandRhode Island Commerce | Broadband & Digital Equity
South CarolinaOffice of Regulatory Staff | Broadband
South DakotaSouth Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development | Connect SD Broadband
TennesseeTN Department of Economic & Community Development | Broadband OfficeTennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant
TexasComptroller Texas | Texas Broadband Development Office
UtahGovernor's Office of Economic Opportunity | Utah Broadband Center
VermontState of Vermont Department of Public Service | VT Community Broadband BoardVermont Connectivity Initiative- funds projects that focus on the last mile, minimizing overbuilding of existing cable or DSL infrastructure
VirginiaVirginia Department of Housing and Community Development | BroadbandVirginia Telecommunication Initiative

Community Development Block Grants

Virginia Appalachian Regional Commission
WashingtonWashington State Department of Commerce | Washington State Broadband OfficeRural Broadband Program
West VirginiaWest Virginia Broadband Enhancement CouncilThe WV Broadband Infrastructure Loan Insurance Program (BLINS)- to expand, enhance and make generally available broadband service throughout the State of West Virginia

Community Development Block Grant
WisconsinPublic Service Commission of Wisconsin | Wisconsin Broadband OfficeBroadband Expansion Grant Program- to encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability in underserved areas of the state

TEACH Information Technology Infrastructure Grants- to eligible rural school districts​ and public libraries
WyomingWyoming State Broadband ProgramBroadband Development Grant

Sand Cherry Services Include:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Modeling
  • Funding Applications/Management
  • Auction Support
  • RFP Process
  • Vendor/Resource Selection & Management
  • Contracts and Negotiation
  • Network Engineering & Design
  • Construction
  • Financial/Budget Planning
  • Consumer Sales & Customer Care
  • Technical Operations
  • Project Management
  • Recruiting
  • Compliance
  • Reporting & Analysis
  • Funding Reimbursements
  • Community Outreach
  • Communications
  • Government Affairs
  • Supply Chain Management