FCC Announces First Round of Grant Awards


Over 220 organizations around the country will soon have access to over $73 million in dedicated funds to help support outreach and enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), according to public notices the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued for the National Competitive Outreach Program, Tribal Competitive Outreach Program, and Your Home Your Internet and Navigator pilot programs. 

Grant recipients span 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. No awards were made in three states (Delaware, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) and three US Territories (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). The ACP Outreach Grant Program is a competitive grant, so organizations must apply to be considered for funding. To learn more about how the funding is distributed among states and U.S. Territories, read this analysis.

While over 16 million households are now enrolled in ACP, research shows that many ACP-eligible households are still unaware of the program. NDIA has long advocated for outreach funds to support trusted community-based organizations in their ACP outreach and enrollment activities, and we’re thrilled that so many NDIA affiliates received grants to develop innovative outreach strategies to raise awareness of ACP. For a quick refresher on the outreach grants, read our blog ”ACP Outreach Grants Are Here – Here’s What You Need to Know.”

Wait, There’s More

Because the volume of funding requests exceeded the FCC’s initial allocation, the FCC announced they will issue another funding opportunity for the National Competitive Outreach Program and Tribal Competitive Outreach Program. 

The FCC will issue another Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) that will give more details about the types of eligible activities and expenses, the application and evaluation processes, reporting requirements, and other rules for the funding. The NOFO isn’t out yet, but here is what we know so far:

  • The FCC will award up to $10 million more in grants. This money comes from unspent outreach grant program funding from this round and funding from the ACP outreach budget that the FCC hasn’t earmarked for other outreach activities. 
  • The FCC plans to allocate $5 million for the National Competitive Outreach Grant and $5 million for the Tribal Competitive Outreach Grant. If there’s money left in either fund, the FCC can transfer the balance to the other program. For example, if the FCC only awards $4 million to eligible applicants in the National Competitive Program, they can transfer the leftover $1 million to the Tribal Competitive Program to cover eligible applicants, and vice versa. 
  • Organizations that received ACP outreach grant funding in this past round will not be eligible for the next round–this includes organizations that were pass-through entities or sub-recipients. 
  • We don’t yet know if previous unfunded applicants will be eligible or able to use their previous application to apply again.