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Grants to USA IHEs Serving BIPOC Communities
for Projects to Increase Internet Access

Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Commerce - National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

12/01/21 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)


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Grants to USA IHEs serving BIPOC communities for projects to increase internet access. Applicants are advised that required registrations take several weeks to finalize. Eligible expenses include purchasing access services and equipment, hiring and training information technology personnel, facilitating educational instruction and learning, including through remote instruction, operating a minority business enterprise, or operating a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Eligible recipients include historically Black colleges or universities (HBCU), Tribal Colleges or Universities (TCU), and Minority-serving institutions (MSI).

The purpose of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program is to provide federal funding to eligible recipients in anchor communities: for the purchase of broadband internet access service or any eligible equipment, or to hire and train information technology personnel; to facilitate educational instruction and learning, including through remote instruction; to operate an MBE; or to operate a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

Eligible projects can be found at

Eligible Uses of Funds can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198199

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

NTIA expects to make awards under this program within the following funding range: $500,000 to $3,000,000, but this range is not a required minimum or maximum.

Term of Contract:

The period of performance for grants issued pursuant to this program is two years, unless such period is otherwise extended in writing by the Grants Officer.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Act defines an eligible recipient as: (1) a historically Black college or university (HBCU); (2) a Tribal College or University (TCU); (3) a Minority-serving institution (MSI); or (4) a consortium that is led by a historically Black college or university, a Tribal College or University, or a Minority-serving institution and that also includes: (a) an MBE; or (b) an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt
from tax under section 501(a) of such Code.

Additionally, an eligible recipient must be in an “anchor community,” defined in part as having an estimated median annual household income of not more than two hundred and fifty percent (250%) of the poverty line. A consortium is eligible for a grant under the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program if it is led by an eligible institution as defined above.

Ineligible costs can be found at

Pre-Application Information:

Complete applications must be received by no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on December 1, 2021.

NTIA expects to complete its review, selection of successful applicants, and award processing by March 1, 2022. NTIA expects the earliest start date for awards under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to be March 14, 2022.

The Act authorizing the establishment of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program does not contain a statutory cost sharing or matching funds requirement for this grant program.

When developing the submission timeline, please keep in mind that: (1) all applicants are required to have current registrations in the electronic System for Award Management ( and; (2) the free annual registration process in generally takes between three (3) and five (5) business days but can take more than three weeks; and (3) applicants will receive e-mail notifications over a period of up to two (2) business days as the application moves through intermediate systems before the applicant learns via a validation or rejection notification whether a federal agency’s electronic system has received the application.

View this opportunity on

Webinar recording from Oct. 20, 2021:

Webinar recording from Oct. 21, 2021:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
(202) 482-2048

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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