This morning, the Department of Treasury announced the first round of Capital Projects Fund (CPF) awards to states putting together portfolios to deploy new infrastructure to unserved households. Across Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virginia, and West Virginia, 200,000 locations will see new deployments capable of 100/100 Mbps at a total cost of almost $583 million.
It’s a welcome announcement that should assemble a wide range of solutions and result in much better connections for more than half a million people across the country long left behind by policy and infrastructure solutions so far. It also marks those states which have been more proactive in getting their ducks in a row as early as possible, and opening a dialogue with Treasury about how to use the CPF funds expeditiously to solve remote work, healthcare, and education in the face of the ongoing publish health crisis.
The CPF is made up of $10 billion, and part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act passed last year. It complements the $350 billion State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) (which can be used for water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure) as well as the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF). New infrastructure must be capable of delivering symmetrical speeds of 100 Mbps. There are no local matches required (though most states are and will likely institute some form of requirement).
CPF funds can go toward premises that lack access to 100/20 Mbps, as well as multi-dwelling unit solutions and improving access for community anchor institutions. The program requires awardees to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program, for however long it lasts.
In total, it looks like for three of the four state plans announced this morning by Treasury, disbursed funds represent 100...Read more