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Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program

Status: Projects Underway


Local networks are important for bringing high-speed Internet to communities. But local networks aren't enough. They need to connect to robust, high-capacity national and regional networks. Middle mile infrastructure makes this possible. By connecting to major networks, local networks can ensure reliable high-speed Internet service for even the most remote communities. 

The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program provides funding for this vital part of our nation's high-speed network. With $1 billion in funding, the Program will reduce the cost of bringing high-speed Internet to unserved and underserved communities. 

Download the Program info sheet 

Award Synopsis 


To date, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded nearly $980 million across 40 states and territories as part of the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program.  

New Middle Mile Grants 

  • The middle mile projects will cover over 370 counties across 40 states and Puerto Rico. 
  • The projects will deploy over 12,500 miles of new fiber that will pass within 1,000 feet of 7,125 community anchor institutions. 
  • All projects use future-proof fiber as the primary technology. 
  • Awardees are investing an additional $871.79 million of outside match funding into the projects. 
  • Grants span from $2.7 million to $88.8 million, with an average award amount of $25.1 million. 

Click here to learn more about Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program Funding Recipients.

Who Can Apply 


The following entities may apply to this program: 

  • State governments 
  • Political subdivisions of states 
  • Tribal governments 
  • Technology companies 
  • Electric utilities 
  • Utility cooperatives 
  • Public utility districts 
  • Telecommunications companies 
  • Telecommunications cooperatives 
  • Nonprofit foundations 
  • Nonprofit corporations 
  • Nonprofit institutions 
  • Nonprofit associations 
  • Regional planning councils 
  • Native entities 
  • Economic development authorities 
  • Partnerships of two or more entities described above 

Key Dates 


All funding for grant awards from the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program has been awarded. No additional awards will be announced.  

An eligible entity that received a Middle Mile grant shall demonstrate that it has completed the buildout of 40 percent of project miles by the end of the second year after the award date, 60 percent of project miles by the end of the third year, 80 percent of project miles by the end of the fourth year, and 100 percent of project miles by the end of the fifth year. The project must be completed, lit, and operating no later than five years from the date on which the grant funds are made available to the eligible entity. 

An eligible entity may submit a request for a one (1) year extension, which must include the justification for such an extension and all relevant circumstances.  Requests for extensions will be granted at the sole discretion of the Assistant Secretary. If an extension is granted, the Assistant Secretary shall modify any milestones as necessary under the extension. 

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) 


You can find full details about this Program in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). 

Download the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) 

For help on how to start a broadband project, visit BroadbandUSA

Eligible Uses of Funding 


Grant recipients may only use federal award funds and any non-federal cost share committed to an award to pay for allowable costs under the Middle Mile Grant Program. Allowable costs are determined in accordance with the cost principles identified in 2 C.F.R. Part 200, including Subpart E of such regulations for States and non-profit organizations, and in 48 C.F.R. Part 31 for commercial organizations, as well as in the grant program’s authorizing legislation. In addition, costs must be reasonable, necessary, allocable, and allowable for the proposed project, and conform to generally accepted accounting principles. Except as set out in paragraph d below (addressing allowable pre-application expenses), federal and non-federal funds committed to an award may only be used to cover allowable costs incurred and for allowable closeout costs incurred during the grant closeout process. Based on the scope of the MMG Program, below are non-exclusive examples of eligible uses of MMG Program funds:  

  1. Construction, improvement, and/or acquisition of facilities and telecommunications equipment required to deploy middle mile broadband facilities;
  2. Engineering design, permitting and work related to environmental, historical and cultural reviews; 
  3. Personnel costs, including salaries and fringe benefits for staff and consultants required for the implementation of the MMG Program (such as project managers, program directors, subject matter experts, grant administrators, financial analysts, accountants, and attorneys); 
  4. Reasonable, post-NOFO, pre-application expenses in an amount not to exceed $50,000. Pre-application expenses, which include expenses related to preparing an application, may be reimbursed if they are incurred after the publication date of this NOFO and prior to the date of issuance of the grant award from NTIA, except that lobbying costs and contingency fees are not reimbursable from grant funds. These costs should be clearly identified in the proposed project budget and must be approved by NTIA and the Grants Officer in writing to be considered allowable. Additionally, preapplication costs are incurred at the sole risk of the applicant and will not be reimbursed by NTIA if the proposed project does not receive an award pursuant to this program; and 
  5. Other costs necessary to carrying out programmatic activities of an award, not to include ineligible costs described below in Section IV.I.2 of the Middle Mile NOFO.

Frequently Asked Questions 


If you don't see the answer to your question please submit to InternetForAll@ntia.gov
Updated 9-26-2022. 

Download FAQ 

Contacts 


For State/Territory points of contact, please visit the Funding by State/Territory page and select the state for contact details.  

Applicant Support: Grants.gov provides applicants 24/7 support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at support@grants.gov. For questions related to the specific grant opportunity, contact the number listed in the application package of the grant you are applying for.  

Categories

Related content


Constructing the Digital Landscape: Highlights of NTIA’s Middle Mile Program

July 1, 2024

By: Sarah Salgado, Broadband Program Specialist, Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth  

Generations before us built infrastructure such as electricity, water, and sewer systems to serve everyone in America. Now, it is our generation’s turn to connect everyone in America to the tools they need to thrive in the modern digital economy through reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service. Achieving this ambitious goal requires the development of middle mile infrastructure.

In 2023, NTIA awarded nearly $980 million to deploy over 12,500 miles of new middle mile fiber through the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure (Middle Mile) Program to 36 organizations across 40 states and territories. This investment will build new and resilient Internet highways that help lower the cost for last-mile providers to deploy future networks and increase end users' access to reliable, affordable, high-speed Internet service.  

NTIA recently announced the first Middle Mile Program grantee in the nation to begin construction. Most of these grant projects are currently under environmental review, and NTIA expects additional grantees to be able to start construction on the first projects in the coming months.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $50 Million to Expand and Strengthen Regional and National Internet Networks

September 06, 2023
WASHINGTON – The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced nearly $50 million to four organizations to expand middle mile high-speed Internet infrastructure in New Hampshire, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming. 
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