GREAT GRANT PROGRAM

Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology

The GREAT program is designed to expedite the terrestrial deployment of broadband within unserved areas of Tier One counties, with transmission speeds of at least 10 Mbps download, and at least one Mbps upload. Deployment of speeds of 25:3 Mbps or greater is encouraged.

In accordance with N.C. Session Law 2018-5 § 143B‑1373(e) “applications shall be made publicly available by posting on the Web site of the Department of Information Technology for a period of at least 30 days prior to award.”

GREAT Grant Program

Application Instructions

Please follow the directions below to complete your application. For more detailed instructions, click the button below the list. 

  1. If you have not already, register for an NCID.
  2. Complete a User Authentication form.
  3. Return to the GREAT Grant webpage.
  4. Click “Start Your Application.”
  5. Click “Continue” to access the grant application portal.

* Interactive instructions are the same instructions as the video, however, they allow you to progress forward and backward using slideshow functionality.

The North Carolina Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO), as authorized under S.L. 2018-5, is providing grants to private providers of broadband services to facilitate the deployment of broadband service to unserved areas of the State. The Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Program funds eligible projects in economically distressed Tier One counties. The application materials and program guidelines are for use when applying for the GREAT Program, and have been developed based on the enabling legislation for the GREAT Program within S.L. 2018-5.

Key Dates

  • 11/01/2018: Information Session
  • 11/09/2018: Applications Open
  • 02/01/2019: Applications Deadline

The GREAT program is designed to expedite the terrestrial deployment of broadband within unserved areas of Tier One counties, with transmission speeds of at least 10 Mbps download, and at least one Mbps upload. Deployment of speeds of 25:3 Mbps or greater is encouraged.

In accordance with N.C. Session Law 2018-5 § 143B‑1373(e) “applications shall be made publicly available by posting on the Web site of the Department of Information Technology for a period of at least 30 days prior to award.”

GUIDELINES & FAQ

What key definitions do I need to know?

Key definitions and requirements contained within the program information are derived primarily from the legislation that created the program. Below you will find a guidance document that includes key definitions specifically related to the GREAT Grant program.

What is the criteria for eligibility?

While the Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO) cannot provide a listing of all households or businesses within the state that have broadband service of less than 10:1 Mbps available, the Office has compiled some general data on eligible areas to serve as a starting point for interested applicants. Broadband availability data is collected twice per year by the Federal Communications Commission, from providers of facilities-based broadband services through their Form 477 data submissions. This data is granular to the census block level. If one household within a census block is shown as being served, the full census block is reflected as being a served block.

In an effort to support the mapping and planning efforts required to complete this application, we have built a resource that will allow you to locate eligible areas.

What application materials do I need?

The online application process will require the following materials to be submitted for consideration of each proposal. Additional explanation or details may be offered within the online form itself, but the list below provides general guidance on materials required for submission.

How and Who can Protest an Application?

The enacting legislation creating the GREAT Grant program outlines a Protest Process for a provider of broadband services to protest an application on the grounds the proposed project covers an area that is not eligible. Interested parties may also submit comments during the protest window. Below, you will find a link to more detailed information around protesting.

How are applications scored?

The GREAT Program is a competitive grant program. Applications shall be scored based upon a system that awards a single point for criteria considered to be the minimum level for the provision of broadband service with additional points awarded to criteria that exceed minimum levels. Applications receiving the highest score shall receive priority status for the awarding of grants.

How do grant awards and agreements work?

Applications receiving the highest score shall receive priority status for the awarding of grants. Applicants awarded a grant(s) shall enter into grant award agreement(s) with the NC Department of Information Technology/Broadband Infrastructure Office. The agreement shall contain the elements outlined in the Application Materials.

How do I get an NCID?

As part of the application process, you are required to register an NCID. Below, you will find a link to the link to the NCID Registration Form.

How do I complete an User Authentication form?

As part of the application process, you are required to have a completed User Authentication form completed and on file. Below, you will find a link to the form that must be completed and returned to the Broadband Infrastructure Office via email at greatgrant@nc.gov.
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How to access the GREAT Grant Mapping Tool?

 

In an effort to support the mapping and planning efforts required to complete this application, we have built a resource that will allow you to locate eligible areas.

Who do I contact for help?

For GREAT Grant specific questions:

  • NCBroadband.gov/GREATGrant
    • Visit the FAQ
  • GREATGrant@nc.gov

For Application help, contact the SAP Support Services Team:

  • 919-707-2208
  • DOTITSAPPSupportServices@ncdot.gov

For NCID Support:

  • it.nc.gov/ncid
  • 919-754-6000
Can activities be executed by the county or officials within the county between now and when the grants are due and become eligible for the Community Broadband Planning point?

It is our opinion that activities executed by the county or officials within the county between now and when the grants are due are eligible for the 1 point for Community Broadband Planning; however, the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office will require an explanation as to how a County is eligible for this 1 point and some form of documentation.

What criteria outside of the scoring criteria listed in the points portion of the grant application will be used to evaluate/judge/award which applications receive grants?

The GREAT Grant Program eligibility requirements and scoring criteria were written into the S.L. 2018 -5 (Appropriations Act of 2018). Based on S.L. 2018-5, there are 13 requirements for the application and there is a 14th requirement that allows our office to collect any other information or supplementary documentation. Our office provides Guidance Documents to assist eligible applicants with the grant process. We encourage you to download the Guidance Documents from www.ncbroadband.gov/greatgrant. I have also attached a zip file with the documents for your reference. Specifically, based on S.L. 2018-5, “Applications receiving the highest score shall receive priority status for the awarding of grants…”

Will scoring criteria be based on homes/businesses served per grant dollar awarded?

Cost Per Household is a criterion in the scoring matrix. Please refer to “Section V – Scoring” for the full description of the scoring criteria

Will scoring criteria be based on most homes/businesses served per application?

Unserved Households (HH), Households (HH) To Be Served, and Unserved Businesses are criterion in the scoring matrix. Please refer to “Section V – Scoring” for the full description of the scoring criteria

Would technology used to deliver services or speed offered be considered as part of the scoring criteria?

S.L. 2018- 5 states, “It is the position of the General Assembly to not only have broadband service extended to areas where it presently does not exist but also to foster speeds exceeding 10:1 to help assure that as much of the inhabitable area of the State as possible is well-positioned with broadband service for the future. Therefore, the General Assembly encourages the deployment of speeds of 25:3 Mbps or greater”. The scoring criteria includes a “Base speed multiplier”. Please refer to “Section V – Scoring” for the full description of the scoring criteria

How will applications be evaluated and winners determined

very application that will evaluated based on the criteria set forth in S.L. 2018-5 and described in the attached Guidance Documents. Winners will determined based on S.L. 2018-5, “Applications receiving the highest score shall receive priority status for the awarding of grants…”

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Email: Broadband@NC.Gov

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301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601