SCEDD Broadband Initiative Updates

SCEDD’s broadband initiative aims to help facilitate the expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout the SCEDD region. Our team continues to seek feedback from interested stakeholders, whether they be board members from local counties, regional stakeholders, municipalities, ISPs, or other industry partners interested in creating a winning strategy to bring high-speed broadband to the region. It is clear from the Colorado Broadband Office’s recently published Capital Projects Fund guidelines that regional collaboration is highly encouraged. If your community has or is interested in developing a broadband strategy, please reach out to SCEDD.

Grant Outlook:

As grant guidelines are published from upcoming grant programs, SCEDD continues to review and evaluate projects in the SCEDD region for applicability and is actively engaged with grant administrators to understand those guidelines and position SCEDD for success. Most recently, the Colorado Broadband Office published its guidelines for its $162 million Capital Project Fund (CPF). Counties have been placed into two tiers. Tier I counties will have access to $122 million of the funding available with a 25% match requirement; counties include Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas, Baca, Otero, Bent, and Crowley. Tier II counties will have access to $40 million and a 50% match requirement; counties include Kiowa, Prowers, Pueblo, Fremont, Chaffee, and Lake.

The following priority areas/agencies were also identified for CPF and should be addressed in grant applications: K-12 distance learning, libraries, improving Colorado tourism, providing internet connectivity in state parks, supporting telemedicine, programs in state prisons, federally recognized tribes, challenges faced by rural communities, and digital equity.

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