The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says it has awarded $930,021,354.34 in grants to spark the deployment of more than 12,000 miles of middle-mile fiber networks. The projects cover 35 states and Puerto Rico and will bring such fiber within 1,000 feet of 6,961 community anchor institutions. The awardees will provide an additional $848.46 million in matching investment to complete the projects.
More than 350 counties will see new middle-mile fiber infrastructure, NTIA states. Grants range from $2.7 million to $88.8 million, with an average award of $26.6 million. Thirty-four applicants received awards; more than 260 applied. Successful applicants ranged from states to tribes to local and regional operators to wholesale network operators.
Among the successful applicants were:
- Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative
- Concho Valley Electric Cooperative
- DoveTel Communications
- ENMR Telephone Cooperative
- Hawaiian Telecom
- Horizon Telcom
- Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico
- Peninsula Fiber Network
- Whidbey Telephone Co.
- Troy Cablevision.
“The Middle Mile program is a force multiplier in our efforts to connect everyone in America,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communication and Information Alan Davidson. “Middle Mile infrastructure brings capacity to our local networks and lowers the cost for deploying future local networks. These grants will help build the foundation of networks that will in turn connect every home in the country to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service.”
Applications for the program originally were due September 30, 2022. NTIA extended the deadline to November 1, 2022, for eligible entities that submitted applications for projects that would deploy in certain areas affected by natural disasters.