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Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program

It is a priority of the DeWine-Husted Administration to connect Ohio households to essential broadband services, especially high-speed internet. There are many areas in this state where families do not have access to reliable high-speed internet.

House Bill 2 of the 134th General Assembly, which creates the Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant Program (the Program), was signed into law by Governor DeWine on May 17, 2021.

The program will award grants to internet service providers to fund the construction of broadband projects in unserved and underserved areas of the state. The program is administered by BroadbandOhio, a division of the Ohio Department of Development.

Grants will be provided to internet service providers to help with the cost of expanding into unserved and underserved areas of Ohio. The grants are designed to help with the infrastructure costs of the project and help build the networks in areas that a lack high-speed internet. The grants will cover the “broadband funding gap,” which is the difference between the total amount of money a broadband provider calculates is necessary to construct the last mile of a specific broadband network and the total amount of money that the provider has determined is the maximum amount of money that is cost effective for the provider to invest in last mile construction for that network.

Eligible projects should provide service access of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload to residences in areas that do not have a provider that can supply that speed. Areas that have less than 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload are considered unserved, areas that have between 10 Mbps and 25 Mbps download and 1 Mbps and 3 Mbps upload are considered tier one areas.

Additionally, House Bill 2 creates the Broadband Expansion Program Authority within Development to receive and review applications from providers, and ultimately award these grants.

The Authority includes five members:

  • Development Director or designee.
  • Director of the Office of InnovateOhio or designee.
  • One member appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • One member appointed by the President of the Senate.
  • One member appointed by the Governor.

For details about the application process, please refer to the Guidebook.

Timeline

Round 1 Schedule: Summer/Fall 2021

  • Application and Scoring Criteria Posted: August 6, 2021
  • Application submission period opens: September 6, 2021
  • Application Deadline: November 8, by 5:00 p.m.
  • Deadline to Refile an Incomplete Application 14 days after application deadline
  • Application Challenge Deadline: January 13, 2022 by 5:00 p.m.
  • Deadline to Refile Suspended Application: 14 days after application suspended
  • Application Review Period: Up to 30 days
  • Award Announcement: Up to 30 days

Online Application

The Grant program application is available by clicking here

An account must be created at the Agency Web Portal Login with a username/email address and password to begin/access applications. This email/password will allow access to the applications at any time before submittal and will also allow you to access applications for reference after they have been submitted. Application viewing is linked via the username/email address, such that all applications created under the same username/email can be accessed by that login.

Related Files

OAC Rules: Ohio Residential Broadband Expansion Grant 122:30-1-01 Definitions

Ohio Residential Expansion Grant Program Webinar (August 23, 2021)