May 10, 2021—The Treasury Department issued a statement Monday outlining the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund to address broadband access shortcomings, including setting a summer deadline for applications.
The fund is a component of the American Rescue Plan that is designed to help Americans, whether they are living in states, territories, or tribal lands. The ARP will provide $10 billion to carry out improvements to broadband infrastructure, with special attention to telehealth, telework, and distance learning within economically disadvantaged communities.
Applicants for the fund must provide a plan for how they intend to utilize potential funding, explain why their project is critical in nature, and how it will benefit un(der)served Americans.
The funds can be directed towards improving infrastructure, providing devices for telehealth and distance learning, or setting up equipment to facilitate the aforementioned goals.
Funds can also be made available to address the construction of community hubs that many municipalities established so that those without a broadband subscription can still access hotspots and devices.
The Treasury made available the Interim Final Rule for the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. This is a separate pot of money that was designed to address many of the same goals as the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund. The Treasury encouraged applicants to seek out public input in order to better explain the unique issues that are facing communities in need.