Grant Application Toolkit
How to apply for a ConnectME Broadband Grant
ConnectME's granting process is governed by state of Maine statute:
ConnectME Authority Final Adopted Rule (Word), Chapter 101. Section 6(D) of the rule describes the application and evaluation process. Approximately every 10 months the Authority opens a grant round. Below, find a easy-to-use guide to the application process.
- Internet service provider submits a pre-application letter to the ConnectME Authority. (example)
- All pre-application letters are publicized via the ConnectME Awarded Grants page for approximately one and a half months. This provides all internet service providers with fair warning of intended grant locations and allows providers to step forward and share any plans they may have of offering service to the grant area in the next year. A proposed offering by any provider in a potential grant area will disqualify an application.
- The official grant application form is posted for providers to download. (example) The Sample Letter of Intent (PDF) your ISP will send to the Authority and the Sample Grant Application (PDF) will give you an idea of what is involved.
- Providers will have approximately two weeks to submit full grant applications.
- Grant applications are reviewed by the ConnectME?s grant review team.
- The team will present their findings to the ConnectME Authority at its scheduled regular meeting for review and discussion of Grant Review Team recommendations
- The Authority will review and take input from interested parties. The Authority will decide which projects are funded and this information will be posted to ConnectME's website.
- The funded projects are required to be completed within one year unless otherwise indicated in an approved grant or an approved extension.
Based on citizen feedback on the granting process, here are some descriptions and examples to aid in understanding the details of the granting process:
- Should a community wish to begin pursuing a grant, it should first check the interactive mapping website to see if the community is served or unserved: http://mapservergeo.maine.gov/broadband/index.html. If your community is served you are not eligible for a ConnectME grant.
- Use the map to see which providers are operating in your area. If you are still uncertain, you can call the ConnectME Authority at 207-624-9970. All applicants for ConnectME funding must have an internet service provider as an applicant partner. Nearly all Maine providers are aware of the ConnectME Authority grant process and many have received funding in the past.
- The majority of the application process will be handled by your internet service provider partner. See the Sample Grant Application (PDF).
- One of the scoring criteria is a show of community support. In this area a broadband champion for a community can be helpful. Community support has been gathered in the past in various ways: letter, email, notes, signup sheets, letters from local businesses, letters from legislators, letters from congressional representatives, and letters from residents who are away for part of the year. This information is given to the provider application or included by the community in the grant application.
If your community would like to learn more about broadband and how to organize around an issue such as broadband, check out the Community Connections area of our website.