Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program Guidelines for a Municipally-owned Broadband Network

Program Overview

The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth have access to reliable broadband service. The Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program is designed to provide flexible funding for eligible towns who wish to develop and build municipally-owned broadband networks.   The program is intended to empower communities, and towns can use these grants to fund design and engineering and construction services directly, as they would other local infrastructure projects.  Each Town will be in control of and oversee the entire process, from design and engineering, through construction and lighting up of their broadband networks.

Eligibility

Identified “Last Mile” communities who wish to develop and build municipally-owned broadband network are eligible for Last Mile Infrastructure Grants under this program.  Each Town is required to apply individually. 

Program Structure

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) will administer the Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program.  The amount of a Town’s grant award will be based upon funding allocations previously established as part of the MBI Last Mile program.  Grant awards will include both the “professional services” allocation and the “construction” allocation designated for each Town.  These grants are meant to supplement the Town’s financial contribution.

A Town interested in applying for funding must request an application from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.  The application form will be sent to the Town and will include the previously published dollar amounts for the Town’s professional services allocation and construction allocation.   The Town will then be responsible for identifying the Town’s financial contribution to the proposed project based on estimates of overall project costs. 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.  Awards will be made once the completed application is reviewed and approved.  The Town and the Commonwealth will enter into a standard state grant contract which will include a schedule of grant payments to the Town based on project milestones. 

Application Review

The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development will consult a team of reviewers to evaluate pending applications and develop recommendations.   Final decisions will be rendered by the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development.