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Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant

Broadband Accessibility Grants

The Broadband Accessibility Grant Program is a critical part of Tennessee’s plan to address our broadband gaps. The Program is designed to offset the capital expenses in the deployment of broadband in unserved areas.  The goal of this program is to facilitate broadband access to all Tennesseans while promoting practices that increase deployment and encourage adoption.  Funds will be targeted to areas that are unlikely to receive broadband service without grant funding.  

Eligible Areas 

Please use all four .shp files above when determining grant area



Any questions regarding this application must be submitted in writing via email to:
Subject Line: Grant Application Question

TNECD Broadband reserves the right to adjust timeline dates in the event of extenuating circumstances. Providers will be notified via the TNECD Broadband Mailing List


Round 4 Program Guidelines, Eligibility Maps Posted


Grant application available 

7/14/2020 - 10am CT

Webinar - Application Review       
View Recorded Webinar Here


Questions Due by 2 PM CT


Completeness Review Deadline


Grant Application Due by 2 PM CST


Broadband Ready Communities Application
Due by 2pm CT


Public Comment Period begins


Public Comment Period ends


Response Period for Finalists (to Public Comment and Data) begins


Response Period for Finalists Ends

Late Feb 2021

Grantees Announced




Points Possible

Need for Grant Funding

Lack of federal funding that will result in the provision of at least 10/1 service in the proposed area    


Description of need including an evaluation of eligibility for the grant,  why the area is difficult to serve and the likelihood the area will not be served without grant funding


Percentage of grant area lacking fixed, terrestrial 10mb/1mb connection




Leveraged and Match Funds

Additional match (cannot be from another federal or state program) provided by grantee or other leveraged funds 


Speed, Scalability and Affordability

Scalability of technology will provide a long-term solution for the community.  Speed and affordability are competitive and will meet community needs on both upload and download speeds.    


Sustainability and Implementation Readiness

Technical, managerial, and financial capabilities of the applicant demonstrating the ability to complete the proposed project    


Economic and Community Impact

Economic development impact  and tailoring of project to meet community needs (relative to the overall cost of the project) 


Service to a previously unserved or underserved community anchor institution    


Adoption Strategy

Plan to encourage adoption of broadband services


Community Support

Partnerships and support from local community    


Broadband Ready

Serves a political subdivision designated as a Broadband Ready Community


County Designation

Project primarily serves a federally designated “Distressed” county or “At-Risk” county



Instructions – Please Read:

  • Navigate to and click “Register”
    • You must create a username and password. If you’re submitting more than one application, this will allow you to work on them simultaneously.
  • Once logged in, click “Begin New Application”
  • You must click “Save” at the bottom of the page to save your work or before starting on another application.
  • You will see a “Warning” at the top of the page until you have completed all necessary fields for submission.
    • The system is only checking whether you have text in all required fields and attached documents where required.
    • The broadband team will still conduct a completeness review to ensure attachments are certified, proof of financing is sufficient, etc.
  • On the home screen, your application status will remain “In Progress” until you have completed all necessary fields and click submit. You will receive a confirmation email and the status will change to “Completed.”

The grant application contains two sections: Applicant Info and Grant Application.

Applicants submitting more than one application should complete the applicant info section once and the grant application section for each individual project.

Application must be reviewed by a professional engineer (PE) or another qualified individual.

Applicants who submit their final grant applications by the Completion Review deadline of October 6, 2020 will have their applications reviewed and will be notified of completion by close of business on October 7, 2020. Final application deadline is October 8, 2020 at 2:00 PM CDT. Applicants who have incomplete applications as of this date will not be considered.

No incomplete or late applications will be accepted.



  • For attachments containing more than 5 pages, a summary page is required. For community support (Question 3.4) and scalability (Question 1.6) attachments, a mandatory template has been provided.
  • We will not accept letters or other attachments via postal mail.

Match Requirement

The grant will cover up to a 50% of eligible project expenses. A cash-only match is required; no in-kind match will be accepted.

Applicants with additional local match or leveraged funds will receive additional points in the scoring process. Federal broadband grant funding is not an eligible match.



Any questions regarding this application must be submitted in writing via email by October 6, 2020 at 2:00pm CDT to:

Subject Line: Applicant_Round 4 Application Question

Applications must be received online by October 8, 2020 at 2 PM CDT