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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 
TelehealthCalifornia Behavioral Health Telehealth GrantsTelehealth infrastructure support to address the needs of individuals with substance use disorder and/or mental health disordersCaliforniaApplication Deadline: 
Aug 3, 2020 
California Department of Health Care Services
The Center at Sierra Health Foundation 
08/03/2020
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 08/30/2020
TelehealthDigital Healthcare Interventions to Address the Secondary Health Effects Related to Social, Behavioral, and Economic Impact of COVID-19 (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)Supports research to strengthen the healthcare response to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies. The main focus is the role and impact of digital health interventions to address access, delivery, and effectiveness of health assessments and interventions for secondary effects during and following the pandemic, particularly in populations who experience health disparities and vulnerable populations. NationwideApplication Deadline:
Aug 20, 2020 
National Institute of Mental Health
National Institute on Aging
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
08/20/2020
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. NationwideApplication Deadline:
Sep 30, 2020 
Foundation for Rural Service 09/30/2020
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. NationwideApplication Deadline:
Apr 29, 2021 
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
12/10/2021
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 12/11/2021
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 12/11/2021
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.NationwideFCC12/11/2021
EducationAlaska Native and Native Hawaiian-Serving InstitutionsThis program provides grants assistance to eligible Alaska Native-serving institutions and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions of higher education to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. NationwideEvery Year on March 16U.S. Department of Education03/16/2021
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. NationwideU.S. Department of Education12/11/2021
EducationAsian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving InstitutionsThis program provides grants and related assistance to Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Asian Americans and Native American Pacific Islanders and low-income individuals. NationwideEvery Year on Feb 27U.S. Department of Education02/27/2021
EducationImpact Aid ProgramsThe mission of this program is to disburse Impact Aid payments to local educational agencies who have lost local property tax revenue due to the presence of non-taxable Federal land. NationwideEvery Year on Aug 31U.S. Department of Education08/31/2020
EducationNative American-Serving Nontribal InstitutionsThis program provides grants and related assistance to Native American-serving, nontribal institutions to enable such institutions to improve and expand their capacity to serve Native Americans and low-income individuals. NationwideEvery Year on March 23U.S. Department of Education03/23/2021
EducationPromise NeighborhoodsThe Promise Neighborhoods program is authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). NationwideU.S. Department of Education12/11/2021
EducationBroadband Infrastructure Development GrantThe Office of Science, Innovation and Technology (OSIT), created in NRS 223 in the Office of the Governor, is responsible for the planning, mapping and procurement of broadband service and managing broadband infrastructure development funding in connection with the Nevada Connect Kids InitiativeNevadaOffice of Science, Technology and Innovation12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionARC - Central Appalachia & North Central/North Appalachia BroadbandThe development of broadband communications networks is one of the best ways to equip communities with the basic “building blocks” essential for economic and community development. ARC is dedicated to continuing broadband deployment in distressed counties in Central Appalachia as well as funds for a program of broadband deployment in distressed counties in North Central and Northern Appalachia. Appalachian RegionApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Appalachian Regional Commission12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionArkansas Rural Connect Broadband Grant InitiativeGrants to expand broadband in rural Arkansas communities. The expected results of the program are increased educational, healthcare, and economic opportunities that lead to enhanced service access and quality of life. ArkansasApplication Deadline:
Aug 15, 2020 
Arkansas Economic Development Commission
Arkansas State Broadband Office 
08/15/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionDORA - The Broadband FundThe Broadband Fund exists to connect communities and fuel economic growth in unserved areas across Colorado. The Broadband Deployment Board provides grants through the Broadband Fund to deploy broadband service in unserved areas of the state. Since 2016 the Broadband fund has awarded $34.1 million to 43 projects, providing over 21,473 rural households across Colorado with broadband access. ColoradoApplication Due July 15, 2020 Department of Regulatory Affairs07/15/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionBroadband GrantsWith $400 million available for broadband deployment grants targeting areas of greatest need, Connect Illinois is an equity-driven infrastructure program, first and foremost. Challenges tied to population sparsity, geography, or low take rate continue to stand as barriers to broadband ubiquity. In particular, Connect Illinois will seek to address disparities in broadband access and adoption in rural regions and black and brown communities across the state.IllinoisQ1 of every yearIllinois Department of Commerce12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionMaryland Rural BroadbandThe Office of Rural Broadband’s mission is to ensure that every rural Marylander has access to broadband services, regardless of their zip code. Through partnerships with local jurisdictions and the private sector, the Office offers funding and technical assistance to help entities qualify for federal financing opportunities. The Office also has initiated a broadband funding structure through the Local Government Infrastructure Financing (LGIF) program at the DHCD to complement other funding sources.MarylandApplication Deadline: 2021 (month TBD)Department of Housing and Community Development12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionRobust Network Feasibility Fund GrantsMatching grants for feasibility studies of geographically based broadband networks in rural areas of Minnesota. MinnesotaApplication Deadline:
Sep 18, 2020 
Blandin Foundation 09/18/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionMinnesota Community Broadband Resources ProgramTechnical assistance and ad hoc consulting support for communities in Minnesota that are exploring high speed internet services. MinnesotaApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Blandin Foundation 12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionRural Digital Opportunity FundThe Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is the Commission’s next step in bridging the digital divide.NationwideApplication Due July 15, 2020
RDOF Auction October 22, 2020
Federal Communications Commission 07/15/2020
Rural Broadband Expansion5G Fund for Rural AmericaAgency Seeks Comment on Proposed Program to Distribute Up to $9 Billion for Next-Generation Wireless Broadband Connectivity in Rural AmericaNationwideFederal Communications Commission 12/11/2021
Rural Broadband Expansion2.5 GHz Band Rural Tribal WindowOpportunity for federally recognized tribes in eligible rural areas to apply for a portion of the 2.5 GHz band, which is suitable for mobile and broadband coverage. NationwideApplication Deadline:
Aug 3, 2020 
Federal Communications Commission 08/03/2020
Rural 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. NationwideApplication Deadline: Sep 30, 2020 Foundation for Rural Service 09/30/2020
Rural 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 
12/11/2021
Rural 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 
12/11/2021
Rural 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 Agriculture12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionRural Utilities Service - Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect)ReConnect 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 Agriculture12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionRural Placemaking Innovation ChallengeThe Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development is seeking applications from organizations to provide planning and/or implementation technical assistance to rural communities to foster placemaking under the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC). This funding opportunity will be administered by the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center and is announcing up to $1,000,000 in competitive cooperative agreement funds in fiscal year (FY) 2020.NationwideApplication Deadline:
Sep 10, 2020
U.S. Department of Agriculture09/10/2020
Rural 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 12/11/2021
Rural 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 Foundation12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionWashington Rural Broadband ProgramLow 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. WashingtonApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Washington State Department of Commerce 12/11/2021
Rural Broadband ExpansionBedford County Broadband Initiative (VA)The objective of this project is to address the digital divide, where over 50% of the County is unserved or underserved by broadband. Upon completion, it is anticipated that over 95% of residents will have access to high speed internet. Infrastructure is being installed through a contract with Blue Ridge Towers at 12 sites across the community. VirginiaApplication Deadline:
Aug 2020 
County of Bedford, Virginia08/15/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionBedford BB Deployment ProgramThe Bedford County Commissioners have announced the createion of a new program to support local governmental organizations, such as municipalities, to help with COVID-19 impacts.PennsylvaniaApplication Deadline:
Sep 11, 2020 
County of Bedford, Pennsylvania09/11/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionBlair County BB Deployment Grant ProgramThe primary purpose of the Program is to provide immediate relief to small businesses, local tourism, and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Blair County hopes to help eligible industries and organizations stay in business through the COVID-19 pandemic, retain employees, and be prepared to grow in the future. In the first round of funding, the County will distribute funds to eligible industries and organizations that are vital to sustaining the economy of Blair County.PennsylvaniaApplication Deadline:
Sep 11, 2020 
Blair County Pennsylvania 09/11/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionWisconsin BB Expansion GrantsThrough its many outreach and planning efforts throughout the state, the PSC's Wisconsin Broadband Office encourages broadband development and deployment by certifying local communities as being Broadband Forward!. A Broadband Forward! Community Certification signals that a local unit of government has taken steps to reduce obstacles to broadband infrastructure investment.WisconsinApplication Deadline:
Dec 1, 2020 
PSC of Wisconsin12/01/2020
Rural Broadband ExpansionTennessee Broadband Accessibility GrantThe COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the importance of critical broadband infrastructure to facilitating participation in telemedicine, distance learning, and telecommuting. Reliable, affordable broadband service is necessary to meet these needs in Tennessee’s communities.TennesseeApplication Deadline:
Oct 8, 2020 
Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development10/08/2020
GeneralPennsylvania Broadband Investment IncentiveDCED Administers several grants for broadband deployment to ensure adequate performance and accessability of broadband servicesPennsylvaniaApplications accepted on an ongoing basis Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development12/11/2021
GeneralUniendo a Puerto Rico FundDCED Administers several grants for The Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund and the Connect USVI Fund Stage 2 Competition (PR-USVI Stage 2 Competition, Stage 2 Competition, or the Competition) will award up to $691.2 million annually for 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to all fixed locations in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) (together, the “Territories”). For Stage 2 of the Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund, the Commission allocated more than $504.7 million over ten years in fixed broadband support. The Commission also allocated $186.5 million over ten years for Stage 2 Connect USVI Fund fixed support.Puerto RicoApplication Deadline:
Sep 3, 2020
FCC09/03/2020

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
  • Compliance
  • Reporting & Analysis
  • Funding Reimbursements
  • Community Outreach
  • Communications
  • Government Affairs
  • Supply Chain Management