Well, folks, the day we’ve been waiting for is finally here—the Digital Equity Act funds are finally making their way to communities around the country to support digital inclusion work on the ground. Yesterday, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) made the first State Digital Equity Capacity Grant award to the state of Nevada! Nevada will receive $9.2 million to implement its digital equity plan and intends to launch a subgrant program focused on three key areas: 1) increasing device access, 2) promoting digital skills training, and 3) expanding access to technical support. They will also develop a Nevada-focused digital equity dashboard and digital equity investment map. The full announcement and more details on their digital equity implementation strategies here.

The Competitive Grant Program Will Launch SOON

This announcement is exciting for Nevadans and the rest of us as this award signals that the rest of the capacity grants to states are on their heels AND the Competitive program Application will open soon. NTIA has 30 days from the time the first grant is made to open up the Competitive Grant program’s Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), so the latest it will open up is July 26th, but I’d expect it sooner. AKA ANY DAY NOW. 

In addition, the application forms for the competitive program (but not the NOFO) are online now for a public comment period. While we don’t have the NOFO yet, the forms tell us a few things we’ve been waiting to learn:

    • Awards will be between $5-$10 million (so by my math this means there will be somewhere between 118-236 projects throughout the program)
    • A match of a minimum of 10% (or exactly 10%, we’ll see what the NOFO says) will be required and the match can be cash or in-kind
    • The cap for Administrative expenses will be 10% (no we don’t know what that includes yet, that will be in the NOFO)
    • There will be three rounds of funding (this year, FY ’25 and FY ’26)
    • This year will be the biggest pot of funds, therefore the most awards will be made this round.

So get ready NOW! Here are some resources we’ve created and gathered to help you do so:

As always, we’ll keep you posted as we learn more.