Project Eligibility Criteria
Who can apply?
For-profit entities are eligible to apply, as well as nonprofit telephone cooperatives or nonprofit rural electric associations that existed on May 10, 2014.
Applicants and appellants are required to submit granular mapping data to the Colorado Broadband Office (CBO). Learn about the CBO Broadband Data Collection.
The Broadband Deployment Board only shall award a grant to an eligible applicant that has demonstrated that its proposed project meets the minimum project eligibility criteria.
- If the Board determines that an application does not meet all minimum requirements, the applicant will be notified in writing and provided an explanation of the Board’s decision. Applicants that do not meet the minimum requirements may, pursuant to C.R.S. 40-15-509.5(8)(j)(III) and the Board’s Appeal Policy, appeal the Board’s determination within ten (10) days of receiving written notification from the Board that it does not meet the minimum requirements.
- There is a 45-day period in which local entities with jurisdiction over the area to be served, incumbent providers and the public may review and provide comments on applications. All applicants may respond to any public comments regarding their application within seven days of the comments being posted to the Broadband Fund website.
- Minimum Requirements
- The area lies outside of municipal boundaries or is a city with a population of fewer than 7,500 inhabitants; and consists of households that lack access to at least one provider of a broadband network that uses satellite technology and at least one provider of a broadband network that uses non-satellite technology.
- The project for which funding is requested must be a new project, and not a project in progress already. A “project in progress” means one in which construction of infrastructure has started. Phased projects may be considered a new project if the phase for which funding is being requested would not otherwise be completed without funding from the Broadband Fund.
- Grant funds shall be used for infrastructure deployment only, and not for ongoing operating costs.
- The project provides access to a broadband network.
- The project shall provide last mile service, which is defined as the portion of broadband service that delivers an internet connection to an end-user. Proposed projects may include middle mile or other infrastructure necessary to provide last mile connections to a broadband network.
- The applicant shall provide independent matching funds of at least 25% of the total cost of the proposed project. The Board may accept in-kind contributions as part or all of the required independent matching funds. In-kind matching contributions shall not include operational costs.
- The project does not overbuild, as defined by C.R.S. §40-15-509.5(10.9)(b), areas receiving federal sources of high cost support or federal broadband grants for construction of a broadband network that will be completed within 24 months after the date that the applicant filed the application.
- The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that the proposed network meets generally accepted industry reliability standards.
- The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board an ability to deliver on the proposed project within established timelines and within budget.
- The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board the ability to operate the network as proposed for a minimum of five years following project completion.
- The project shall be completed within two years from the date in which the grant award contract is executed.
- The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board an ability to provide broadband service at a reasonable project cost per household and at reasonable total service and installation costs to end users in the area to be served.
- The applicant demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Board that the project is not in an area with a population density large enough to require service under an existing franchise agreement.
- The applicant has applied using the most recent application form and has answered all questions and provided all attachments.
Grant Award Criteria
If an applicant meets the minimum requirements, the Board may award grant funds after all grant applications for the applicable cycle have been reviewed using the criteria adopted by the Board at the time of application. Application funding will be prioritized based on a review of the following criteria, the availability of funds and any other information the Board deems pertinent to the funding decision. In addition to all other requirements and assessments, the Board may consider but is not limited to considering the following criteria when awarding grants:
- Grant Award Criteria
- The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed project is consistent with a regional broadband plan and if applicable, a more detailed sub-regional (city, town or county) plan or the project has been endorsed by local entities with jurisdiction over the project area.
- The applicant has demonstrated the project will enhance economic development, telehealth, education, libraries and/or public safety.
- Downstream and upstream service speeds are offered in excess of the minimum (which is 25 downstream / 3 upstream).
- The amount of matching funds exceeds the minimum matching requirement of 25%.
- Geographic distribution of grant awards with additional consideration to projects in areas that have not received an award from the Broadband Fund.
- Whether the project will provide services via licensed or unlicensed means of transmission.
- Whether the project includes network redundancy and physical diversity.
- The cost-effectiveness of the project’s proposed method for expanding broadband service into unserved areas.
- Whether the applicant has an established record of operation in the area of the grant application.
- Whether the project will provide service to households that have service less than 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream.
- The applicant has provided evidence of the number of Priority (<10/1) and Unserved (<25/3) households listed in the proposed project area.
Colorado Broadband Map Data
Mapping data is available to applicant for preparation of applications.
How to Apply
Written Certification Process (optional)
The Board must give “substantial weight” to any written certifications when determining whether a proposed project will serve unserved areas. The written certification can be obtained from the local entity to certify that the area is an unserved area. The written certification must be submitted to the Board before the expiration of the 45-day comment period.
This is an optional addition to the application.
Written certification must be submitted to the Board before the expiration of the 45-day comment period. Please note that the written certification must be approved at a public hearing.
- The Process
1. Download written certification notice form and notify Broadband Fund staff of intent to obtain written certification.
2. Submit the following information to the local entity:
- Internet speed survey to be utilized to collect data for a local entity to review. CBO Speed Test may be utilized (see instructions below to receive results data from the CBO.
- Map of proposed project area using the Colorado Broadband Map showing other providers in the area.
- A spreadsheet of households and their respective mailing addresses of the project area. See Address List Spreadsheet Template.
- An analysis of the communities residing in the proposed project area. This analysis should include population information and a justification as to why the applicant is requesting to serve the proposed project area.
- An attachment indicating whether the area is or has been subject to any other upcoming state or federal funding or grants in the last 24 months.
3. The applicant, on behalf of the local entity, should distribute the internet speed survey to all household addresses (via their mailing address if different) in the proposed project area.
4. The applicant is responsible for determining if the local entity has approved a written certification at a public certification hearing. Signatures must be obtained from both the applicant and local entity authority.
5. Submit the signed written certification to the Board by before the 45-day comment period has ended.
Written Certification Notice Form PDF
Certification Request Address List PDF
Speed Test Survey Sample PDF
HB20-1137, enacted in July 2020, authorizes, but does not require, an applicant seeking grant money from the Board to submit to the Board a written certification from the local entity with jurisdiction over the area that the applicant proposes to serve, certifying that the area is an unserved area. The Board must give “substantial weight” to any written certifications when determining whether a proposed project will serve unserved areas.
If an applicant is seeking certification from a local entity that the application area is unserved, the written certification must be submitted to the Board before the expiration of the 45-day comment period.
The application, along with all attachments and exhibits, must be received by the Broadband Deployment Board (Board) by 11:59 p.m. on the submission deadline date. If any of the requested information or documentation is missing, your application may be rejected by the Board.
Applications will be made publicly available on the Board’s website.
Where to submit:
Submit by Email:
Contact staff for alternative submission options.
The application, along with all attachments and exhibits, must also be provided to:
- Local governments with jurisdiction over the area to be served; and
- Any known incumbent providers in the area to be served.
Amendments & Partial Awards
How do I submit an amendment to my application?
Please contact the Board’s staff to discuss your proposed project before completing and submitting this form.
Amendments shall be submitted to the Board, the board of county commissioners, city council or other local entity with authority over the area to be served, and to incumbent providers.
What amendments are allowed? Remove areas that do not meet the minimum requirements:
- If all other application requirements remain met, an application may be amended at any time to remove from the application coverage of an area that does not meet the minimum requirements.
- In the event of an award to an amended application, the Board will reduce the grant award proportionately, by calculating the grant dollars requested per household address served in the original application, multiplying that number by the number of household addresses removed from the coverage area and subtracting the total from the grant amount requested in the original application.
When can amendments be submitted? At any time
- An applicant may amend an application at any time to remove household addresses from the coverage area that do not meet the minimum requirements.
The Board may choose to award a partial grant for an area that does meet the criteria.
- In the event of a partial grant award, the Board will reduce the grant award proportionately, by calculating the grant dollars requested per household address served in the original application, multiplying that number by the number of household addresses removed from the coverage area and subtracting the total from the grant amount requested in the original application. The Board, in its sole discretion, may further adjust any partial grant award.