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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 
Updated maps as of 9/27/2019

Please use all three .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 3 Program Guidelines Posted


Grant application available 


Webinar - Application Review (Recording available here)

8/29/2019  at 11am CDT

Regional Meeting - Southwest TN Region
Bolivar, TN


Questions Due by 2 PM CST


Completeness Review Deadline


Grant Application Due by 2 PM CST (NEW DATE)


Broadband Ready Communities Application
Due by 2pm CST


Public Comment Period begins


Public Comment Period ends


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


Response Period for Finalists Ends

March 2020

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    


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


Application and Login Instructions
  • Navigate to and click “Register”
    •  After navigating to, create username and password and enter your email address below. 
    • You’ll receive a link via email to setup a password. 
    • Once your password is created, navigate back to – login w/ username and password
    • 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.

Ready for Submission

  • Application must be reviewed by a professional engineer (PE) or another qualified individual.
  • You will see a “warning” at the top of the page until you have completed all necessary fields and clicked "Submit."
  • The system is only checking whether you have text in all required fields and attached documents where required.
  • The broadband team will conduct a completeness review to ensure attachments are included, proof of financing is sufficient, and other info if applicant submits by completeness review deadline.
  • On the home screen, your application status will remain “In Progress” until you have completed all necessary fields and clicked "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.

Applicants who submit their final grant applications by the Completion Review deadline of November 18, 2019 will have their applications reviewed and will be notified of completion by close of business on November 19, 2019.
Final application deadline is November 20, 2019 at 2pm CDT. Applicants who have incomplete applications as of this time will not be considered.

No incomplete or late applications will be accepted.


  • The application’s “Save” feature will save application text, but will not save attachments. Please wait until you are ready for submission before adding attachments.
  • For attachments containing more than 5 pages, a summary page is required.
  • We will not accept letters or other attachments via postal mail.
  • For surveys or petitions, the summary page must include the number of signatures and description of process to verify addresses are in the proposed service area.

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 November 18, 2019 at 2PM CDT to:

Subject Line: Grant Application Question

Applications must be received online by: November 20, 2019 at 2PM CDT