Oregon Opens Applications For ARPA Project Grant Proposals


Oregon to accept applications for their $156.8 million allocation of ARPA Capital Projects Fund to deploy broadband initiatives

Corey Walker Oregon Opens Applications For ARPA Project Grant Proposals Photo of Oregon Broadband Office Director Nick Batz from Business Oregon account on X.

March 25, 2024 – The Oregon Broadband Office said Monday that it was accepting applications for its Broadband Deployment Program grants to initiate infrastructure projects. 

The federal government issued Oregon $156.8 million from the American Rescue Plan ActCapital Projects Fund for the purpose of funding broadband expansion efforts throughout neglected parts of the state. The state says they plan to use the cash to ramp up construction of broadband-focused projects. 

“The sole eligible activity for this program’s funds is the construction and deployment of broadband infrastructure projects that offer reliable broadband service (minimum 100 * 100 Megabits per second (Mbps)) to locations in Oregon that are unserved or underserved and lacking at least 100 * 20 Mbps wired service,” the press release reads. 

The office claimed that the approved approved projects will be tailored towards boosting broadband access for underserved communities and those in rural areas. The Oregon Broadband Office highlights the importance of focusing on rural communities, locales that are traditionally considered “cost-prohibitive” for providers to deploy broadband infrastructure. 

“Unserved is defined as lacking a wired connection that reliably provides 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Mbps upload (25 * 3 Mbps) and underserved is defined as lacking a wired connection that reliably provides 100 * 20 Mbps,” the office said. 

The agency will accept applications from municipalities, private and non-profit organizations, native tribes, and electrical utility companies. Though organizations can work together on projects, they must choose one entity to serve as the designated leader and sponsor. 

Applications will be assessed on a standardized scoring rubric. Broadband proposals will be evaluated on the projected number of homes served, the number of underserved addresses impacted by the project, and estimated project cost, according to the program guidelines handbook.  

“Access to high-speed broadband is essential for all Oregonians. Our students need access for remote learning, our businesses need access to reach national and global markets, and our seniors rely on it for telehealth and connection,” said Nick Batz, director of the Oregon Broadband Office, “In Oregon, approximately 145,060 total households lack access to reliable high-speed internet. Programs like the BDP can address this gap.”