Connectivity Hubs Opens Dec 1 2023 10:00 AM (EST) Deadline Mar 29 2024 11:59 PM (EDT) The Connectivity Hubs grant program will invest in new and existing community anchor institutions (CAIs) such as libraries, community centers, affordable housing developments, municipal or tribal buildings, and other gathering places that enable workforce training, education, and health monitoring for people most impacted by the digital divide. Connectivity Hubs will support capital improvements, such as facility construction and renovation, and essential assets like affordable devices for public access and lending programs. Through these improvements, there will be an increase in the number of organizations and communities engaging in digital equity work and reducing the digital divide. For support at any time, please contact the Maine Connectivity Authority Team at email@example.com or 207-370-7439. Application Process The Connectivity Hub program is not an open competitive grant process. Potential applicants must be invited to apply. STEP 1: To be invited, potential applicants should complete the Interest Form. MCA staff will follow up by email or phone. Selected applicants will receive an email inviting them to begin the application. STEP 2: Applicants must complete the online application in the MCA grant portal once invited. Applications submitted by March 29, 2024, will be reviewed and considered for the first grant round to be approved in May 2024. All other applications will be reviewed and approved on a rolling basis if there are any remaining grant funds. STEP 3: Proposals under review may receive technical assistance and support from MCA staff. MCA staff will notify applicants in April 2024 if they will be considered for approval in the initial grant round in May 2024. All other applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and MCA staff will notify applicants if they will not be considered for award.Key DatesA first round of grants will be awarded in May 2024, and applications will be invited, accepted, and approved on a rolling basis thereafter until funding is expended. Dec 1, 2023 - Interest Form Opens January 19, 2024 - Application Opens February 29, 2024 - Interest Form Closes March 29, 2024 - Application Closes May 17, 2024 - Awards Approved by MCA Board (expect 6-8 weeks for contracting phase) May 20, 2024 - Awards Announced June 3, 2024 - Application Re-Opens on a Rolling Basis if Funds Remain Oct/Nov 2024 - Estimated final date for MCA Board approval of Connectivity Hub projects December 20, 2024 - All approved grantees need to have fully executed grant contracts Who is eligible to apply?The Connectivity Hub grant program prioritizes communities and people who will most benefit from the presence of Connectivity Hubs in their area, including unserved locations as defined by the Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment Program (BEAD) and covered populations. This prioritization will advance MCA’s goal to ensure that all Maine residents, communities, businesses and institutions are able to take full advantage of the economic, health, and educational opportunities made available through affordable and reliable high-speed internet. Eligible applicants include organizations, agencies, and institutions that can undergo capital improvements to increase connectivity and digital equity while enabling work, education, and health monitoring. This grant will not fund overhead or programmatic costs, nor will the grant be open to traditional schools or hospitals that do not enable the broader activities of work, education, and health monitoring. Applicants must be a 501c3 non-profit organization or a community, municipal, county, state or tribal government entity.One organization may be a lead applicant, coordinating other partners which are engaged in the project and programming that may be offered through a project. The applicant or lead applicant must either 1) own the building or 2) have a lease agreement that extends at least five years after project completion. Applicants leasing the property must provide a letter of support from the property owner. Funding AvailableThe total funding available for the Connectivity Hub grant program is $11.2 million. MCA expects to award between 16-20 projects in total, in 2024 and 2025. All projects must be completed by August 31, 2026. Grant sizes will range from $250,000 to $2,000,000, with a minimum grant size of $250,000 and a maximum grant size of $2,000,000. This range enables a variety of projects, from building renovations and technology improvements to new construction. Awardees must meet all quarterly and other reporting requirements throughout the duration of the project, upon completion, and in annual reporting.