NTIA Opens State Digital Equity Grant Program 

$840 Million Soon Available for States, US Territories, and Native Entities 

This is the first in a three-part series about the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program announcement from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This blog post provides an overview of the funding opportunity, the second in the series will focus on information specific to State and Territory Administrating entities, and the third post will focus on information for Native entities. The State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program is the second set of funds available in the Digital Equity Act (DEA) authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021.

Last week, NTIA opened applications for its State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program—$840 million in grant funding available to states, US territories, and Native entities. The funds will be used to implement their digital equity plans and deliver programs to communities to help close the digital divide. This matters to NDIA’s community because states may award subgrants to organizations doing digital equity work in their state. 

The funding was announced with a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, which provides an overview of the program and instructions for states, territories, and Native entities for applying for the funds. For more information on the official NOFO, visit NTIA’s landing page outlining the nitty gritty details. You’ll find the official notice, helpful FAQs, and an informative fact sheet there.


*In the context of this program, “State” means the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; US territories means United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession of the United States that is not a state; and Native entities means Indian Tribes, Alaska Native entities, and Native Hawaiian organizations (pgs. 16-19 in the NOFO). 

The NOFO opens up DEA funds for States to put their Digital Equity Plans into Action

Over the past year and a half, states (including the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) and territories have gone through a rigorous planning process to write digital equity plans. Once awarded funds, states will begin activities, programs, and subgrants to support strategies to address the barriers to digital equity (pgs. 33-35 in the NOFO). 

To help the success of these plans, states and territories must consider various factors such as:

  • Focusing on covered populations
  • Implementing measurable strategies
  • Encouraging long-lasting and meaningful change
  • Engaging stakeholders

NDIA is pleased to see meaningful engagement with stakeholders and long-lasting sustainability are included in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), as NDIA provided comments in these areas during NTIA’s Request for Comment period.

States and Territories May Award Subgrants to Implement the State’s Digital Equity Plan

States and territories are permitted to subgrant their Capacity Award to eligible entities to implement the State’s digital equity plan by (pg. 32 in the NOFO):

  • Supporting the implementation of the plan
  • Digital inclusion activities that align with the plan
  • Reporting the entities’ digital inclusion activities to the State

Some states may choose not to create subgrant programs. Each subgrant program (including the eligibility criteria and allocation sizes) may vary as states and territories will align their program with the goals outlined in their plans. If you haven’t connected with your State’s Administering Entity (usually a broadband office), now is the time to do so!

Entities Eligible for Subgrants

These are the eligible entities that can apply for subgrants under the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program (pg. 32 in the NOFO, 47 U.S.C. §1724(b)): 

  • A political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of a State, including an agency of a State responsible for administering or supervising adult education and literacy activities or for providing public housing in the State
  • An Indian Tribe, an Alaska Native entity, or a Native Hawaiian organization 
  • A foundation, corporation, institution, or association that is a not-for-profit entity and not a school 
  • A community anchor institution
  • A local educational agency
  • An entity that carries out a workforce development program 
  • A partnership between any entities described above
  • A partnership between an entity described above and an entity that the Assistant Secretary, by rule, determines to be in the public interest and is not a school

Key Dates

  • March 29th, 2024: NOFO is published, and the application window for states and territories opens
  • May 28, 2024: State applications are due 
  • July 31, 2024: US territories applications due (other than the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) 
  • August 28, 2024: NTIA will issue the first Capacity award to at least one state (awards will be issued on a rolling basis)
  • September 25, 2024 The application window for Native entities opens
  • February 7, 2025: Applications from Native entities are due (pg. 1 in the NOFO)

    When do local organizations apply as sub-grantees? ASK YOUR STATE!

    Tentative Allocations for the First Bucket of Funds from the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program

    • About $760 million is available to 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico
    • About $45 million is available to Native entities
    • About $8.4 million is available to territories


    States & US Territories Digital Equity Tentative Allocation Amount
    Alabama  $13,702,566.00
    Alaska  $5,631,769.64
    Arizona  $16,170,760.44
    Arkansas  $10,161,429.01
    California  $70,226,453.82
    Colorado  $12,368,261.03
    Connecticut  $9,183,114.07
    Delaware $4,816,482.10
    District of Columbia  $3,804,000.00
    Florida  $41,748,794.74
    Georgia  $22,455,639.68
    Hawaii  $6,017,160.03
    Idaho  $6,305,226.45
    Illinois  $23,732,912.78
    Indiana  $15,096,770.19
    Iowa $8,442,129.37
    Kansas $8,229,246.17
    Kentucky $12,123,531.39
    Louisiana $12,727,887.98
    Maine $5,784,349.60
    Maryland $13,427,134.17
    Massachusetts $14,133,924.00
    Michigan $20,585,775.60
    Minnesota $12,033,288.01
    Mississippi $10,752,090.73
    Missouri $14,237,940.09
    Montana $6,938,534.64
    Nebraska $6,500,627.76
    Nevada $9,200,546.13
    New Hampshire $4,942,018.62
    New Jersey $18,094,857.62
    New Mexico $8,673,975.84
    New York $36,984,641.81
    North Carolina $22,456,097.01
    North Dakota $4,549,772.25
    Ohio $23,291,991.74
    Oklahoma $11,233,311.64
    Oregon $9,947,586.17
    Pennsylvania $25,508,473.61
    Puerto Rico $9,807,187.39
    Rhode Island $4,540,059.53
    South Carolina $12,846,583.30
    South Dakota $5,010,234.08
    Tennessee $15,814,288.00
    Texas $55,641,147.86
    Utah $7,795,149.91
    Vermont $5,299,150.18
    Virginia $18,330,732.47
    Washington $15,983,291.58
    West Virginia $9,011,588.00
    Wisconsin $13,248,029.83
    Wyoming $5,251,485.99
    American Samoa $2,100,000.00
    Guam $2,100,000.00
    The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands $2,100,000.00
    US Virgin Islands $2,100,000.00

    (pg. 24 in the NOFO)

    Funding Buckets

    The NOFO announces the first of three buckets of funding available through the $1.44 billion State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program. States and territories will have five years from the date the grant is awarded to implement their Digital Equity Plan and make subgrants (pg. 21 in the NOFO). 

    • This funding opportunity includes $840,000,000 for the first bucket of funding.
    • States, territories, and Native entities can anticipate two more NOFOs – $300,000,000 each for two additional buckets of funding.

    How to Prepare for Subawards and Federal Grants 

    • Attend NDIA’s webinar on the Capacity Grant. Date and time TBD
    • Read your state’s digital equity plan
    • Connected with your State’s administrating entity (usually a broadband office)
    • Join your local digital inclusion coalition. If you don’t have a coalition, connect with other organizations doing digital inclusion work in your community.
    • As you prepare for your states to open capacity subgrants, we highly recommend you read Paolo Balboa’s blog. It’s full of tips on how to prepare a competitive application. 
    • Start gathering and organizing your 424 forms, which are standard for all federal grants, before the NOFO comes out. You can find a list of these forms on, including documents such as a Work Plan and a budget so you can start the fun part of collecting project-specific materials sooner rather than later.

    URGENT: get your Unique Entry ID (or UEI) from Keep in mind that if your project involves sub-grants, the sub-awardees will also be responsible for setting up UEIs.