NTIA Awards Middle Mile to 35 Projects in 350 Counties with 12,000 Miles of Fiber

$930 million in federal funding will leverage a total of nearly $1.8 billion in middle mile broadband infrastructure.

NTIA Awards Middle Mile to 35 Projects in 350 Counties with 12,000 Miles of Fiber
Photo of Alan Davidson (left) and Drew Clark at Mountain Connect in May 2022

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2023 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Friday announced $930 million in funding for middle-mile broadband, nearly all of the $1 billion available for such projects under the bipartisan infrastructure law.

In all, 35 projects were announced by the Commerce Departments, and these projects will cover 350 counties in 35 states and Puerto Rico. The $930,021,354.34 in federal funds roughly half of the $1,778,482,043.99 in total project costs supported by the federal funds.

Join Broadband Breakfast for a discussion of the Middle Mile Funding Awards in our Broadband Breakfast Live Online event on June 21, 2023.

“The Middle Mile program is a force multiplier in our efforts to connect everyone in America,” said NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson, in a news release.

With a total of $1 billion available for middle mile grants, these awards are just a small foretaste of the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Funds – $42.5 billion – to be awarded. That process will kick off in two weeks, when NTIA is set to announce the state funding allocations.

“Middle Mile infrastructure brings capacity to our local networks and lowers the cost for deploying future local networks,” Davidson said. “These grants will help build the foundation of networks that will in turn connect every home in the country to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service.”

The states receiving the largest funds for these middle mile projects are Alaska ($89 million), California ($73 million), Texas ($72 million), Michigan ($61 million), New Mexico ($50 million), Nevada ($44 million) and Kansas ($43 million).

Notable awards

The largest single federal award was to QSH Parent Holdco LLC in Alaska, which received an $89 million award to support a $151 million project. Other large single-project awards include the California Department of Technology, which received a $73 million award to support a $188 million project, and the Peninsula Fiber Network in Michigan, which received $61 million to support an $88 million project.

See table below for full awards.

Zayo took the prize for the company or organization with the largest aggregated federal award. The broadband fiber company received three awards totaling $92 million: $55 million for a Texas project in the counties of Loving, Borden, Parker, Andrews, Tarrant, Gaines, Martin, Winkler, Shackelford, Fisher, Dallas, Scurry, Palo Pinto, Stephens, El Paso, Culberson, Dawson, Reeves, Jones, and Hudspeth; $24 million for a project in Oregon, and $13 million for a second East Texas project that also serves Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia.

Zayo’s total project costs are $91 million in Texas, $48 million in Oregon, and $20 million in East Texas.

New Mexico ENMR Telephone Cooperative received the $50 million to support a $102 million award, the State of Nevada received the $44 million to support an $87 million award, and the Kansas Department of Commerce received the $43 million to support an $87 million project.

A quick analysis of the awardees by Broadband Breakfast appeared to show that about half of the 35 awards were to private companies, and the other half roughly evenly split among pure government entities, utilities, cooperatives, and other economic development or quasi-public entities. One of the 35 awardees is to a Tribe.

Additional details

Awardees have been waiting nearly nine months for these decisions. Applications for the program were due by September 30, 2022. More than 260 applied for $7.47 billion in funds.

The middle mile program will “lower the cost of access and increase bandwidth,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Much like how the interstate highway system connected every community in America to regional and national systems of highways, this program will help us connect communities across the country to regional and national networks.”

  • The projects will deploy more than 12,000 miles of new fiber that will pass within 1,000 feet of 6,961 community anchor institutions.
  • All projects are primarily for fiber future-proof fiber as the primary technology.
  • Grants span from $2.7 million to $88.8 million, with an average award amount of $26.6 million.
  • Additional grants will be announced on a rolling basis, NTIA officials said.

Below are the awards, sorted by federal funds received. Full information is available at the NTIA’s web site.

Award  Total Project Cost  Federal Funds Received State
QSH Parent Holdco LLC  $150,799,819.89  $       88,896,493.83 Alaska
California Department of Technology  $187,586,206.04  $       73,000,000.00 California
Peninsula Fiber Network, LLC  $  87,509,579.61  $       61,256,705.72 Michigan
Zayo, LLC  $  91,887,375.00  $       55,132,425.00 Texas
ENMR Telephone Cooperative  $102,348,503.00  $       49,858,624.00 New Mexico
State of Nevada  $  87,094,918.76  $       43,547,459.38 Nevada
Kansas Department of Commerce  $  69,730,044.00  $       42,514,219.13 Kansas
MidAmerican Energy Company  $  75,693,762.48  $       37,839,311.86 Iowa
Hawaiian Telcom, Inc.  $  87,466,529.00  $       37,356,955.00 Hawaii
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska  $  36,374,797.00  $       36,374,797.00 Nebraska
Pima County  $  43,283,954.00  $       30,281,277.00 Arizona
State of Maine  $  53,353,132.12  $       30,016,472.13 Maine
Horizon Telcom Inc.  $  48,275,817.00  $       27,540,553.83 Ohio
Missouri Network Alliance, LLC  $  54,037,925.53  $       26,478,583.51 Missouri
Troy Cablevision, Inc.  $  52,610,443.35  $       26,299,960.63 Alabama
Appalachian Power Company  $  50,208,602.46  $       25,054,092.63 West Virginia
County of Cumberland  $  34,538,131.62  $       24,176,692.13 New Jersey
Zayo, LLC  $  48,119,568.00  $       24,059,784.00 Oregon
DCN, LLC  $  43,801,276.61  $       19,710,574.47 North Dakota
Baltimore Gas & Electric  $  30,889,369.68  $       15,438,845.47 Maryland
Dairyland Power Cooperative  $  30,387,913.86  $       14,890,077.79 Wisconsin
Commonwealth Edison Company  $  83,752,765.20  $       14,557,740.21 Illinois
Development Authority of the North Country  $  24,450,000.00  $       14,547,750.00 New York
Missouri Network Alliance, LLC  $  29,688,739.63  $       14,547,482.42 Oklahoma
Zayo, LLC  $  19,554,630.00  $       13,688,241.00 Texas
DoveTel Communications, LLC. dba SyncGlobal Telecom  $  32,246,573.54  $       12,234,350.00 Georgia
Whidbey Telephone Company  $  16,831,726.00  $       11,782,208.20 Washington
Blackfoot Telephone Cooperative, Inc.  $  16,795,000.00  $       11,756,500.00 Montana
Indiana Michigan Power Company Inc.  $  23,415,007.82  $       11,684,088.90 Indiana
MCNC  $  18,959,598.00  $       11,186,162.82 North Carolina
Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico LLC  $  18,986,670.45  $         9,303,468.52 Puerto Rico
Syringa Networks LLC  $  10,744,863.41  $         6,209,732.74 Idaho
Concho Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc.  $   6,688,442.75  $         3,276,667.98 Texas
WANRack  $   5,738,951.17  $         2,812,086.07 Florida
BIF IV Intrepid Opco LLC  $   4,631,407.01  $         2,710,970.97 Colorado

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