• Governor announces additional $30 million of CARES Act funding for broadband in the Commonwealth.

    As many of you have seen, Governor Northam announcedan additional $30 million of CARES Act funding to improve connectivity in the Commonwealth. As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, Virginians need access to affordable, high-speed internet to succeed in today's virtual world. Please find attached the full program guidelines and application form, which can also be downloaded at - https://www.commonwealthconnect.virginia.gov/COVID-19.

    I want to highlight some items of note for the program:

     *   Only localities may apply and be awarded funds. Localities are allowed and encouraged to partner with broadband providers to complete projects but the locality must be the applicant.
     *   All of the same conditions that existed for the first and second round of CARES Act allocations to localities continue for this round of allocations. Compliance with the federal guidance is the responsibility of the locality submitting the proposal and failure to do so could result in disallowed expenses - requiring the applicant locality to repay the associated funds to the federal government. Specifically, the CARES Act provides that payments from the CRF only may be used to cover costs that are (1) necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency, (2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020, and (3)  were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020, and ends on December 30, 2020.
     *   Proposals will need to be developed and submitted quickly, and projects will be approved on a rolling basis until funds are fully obligated.
     *   Applicants must certify that all expenses related to these projects will be expended by December 25, 2020 and that the projects will be in-service by that date.
     *   Applicants must link all proposed projects to expanding connectivity for distance learning and telework needs necessary during the public health emergency.

    Questions and completed applications can be sent to commonwealthconnect@governor.virginia.gov<mailto:commonwealthconnect@governor.virginia.gov