$200 Million Broadband Infrastructure Grant Guidelines Released

April 11, 2023

Yesterday, the PA Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) released the grant guidelines for the new $200 Million Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program (BIGP), established under the federal American Rescue Plan via the US Treasury.  The BIGP grant application window will open on May 10, 2023 and close on July 10, 2023.  The Authority expects to award grants prior to the end of 2023.  Funded projects must reach substantial completion ― defined as services being delivered to end users ― by December 31, 2026.  A copy of the grant guidelines are available at:  https://dced.pa.gov/download/covid-19-arpa-pa-broadband-infrastructure-program-guidelines/?wpdmdl=119544.

Notes:  If your community has areas of unserved or underserved broadband access, I encourage you to share this grant information with your county commissioners, service providers or other regional entities that may wish to coordinate a grant (see below for eligibility).  It’s my understanding that grant applications must be for particular “areas” and must include any unserved or underserved community anchor institutions (schools, libraries, etc.) within those areas.   

Also, this grant is in addition to the larger infrastructure grants that will be released in the future.


The Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) is funded pursuant to the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Capital Projects Fund) established under The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. BIP is a $200 million competitive grant program which will target locations that do not currently have access to 25/3 Mbps reliable service. The Program will fund extensions of existing last-mile cable modem and fiber-to-the-premise broadband networks, and large-scale regional projects that can transform broadband availability by serving large numbers of eligible addresses.

Key Program requirements include:

  • 25-percent match: Federal, state, or local funding received by the applicant is eligible towards the match requirement.
  • Grant amounts: The minimum request considered will be $500,000 and the maximum may not exceed $10 million.
  • Universal coverage: Applicants are required to ensure that all projects either achieve or are part of a plan to achieve universal broadband for the locality or region.
  • Affordability: Applicants must participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program and will be asked to describe and document their digital equity efforts to ensure low- to moderate-income households in the proposed project area will have sustained and affordable access.
  • Labor: The Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act may apply to projects funded under this program. Prevailing Wage requirements are generally applicable to grants for construction, demolition, reconstruction, alteration, repair work, renovations, build-out and installation of machinery and equipment more than $25,000.


Any business, not-for-profit organization, municipality, or economic development organization with the technical, managerial, and financial expertise to design, build, and operate high-speed broadband service infrastructure within the Commonwealth is eligible to apply.  Regional consortia of local governments may participate. Additionally, DCED will consider covered partnerships consisting of one or more of the above entities and a provider of internet service.  The Program will prioritize projects that involve broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, cooperatives, and those with commitments to serving entire communities.

For additional details please visit the Authority’s website, COVID-19 ARPA PA Broadband Infrastructure Program.

Julie Tritt Schell
Pennsylvania E-rate Coordinator
717-730-7133 – o

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