The availability of telecommunications is considered critical in creating sustainable and competitive communities. Community sustainability requires the availability of adequate healthcare, quality education, reliable emergency services, competitive service-sector businesses (banks, insurance, etc.) and connectivity at speeds necessary for entrepreneurs to engage and compete globally.
Where appropriate, telecommunications funds may be utilized to:
- assist in promoting awareness of potential eligible activities and gauging stakeholder interest;
- creating a management team of potential user groups to oversee the creation of a telecommunications plan;
- conduct surveying efforts to document the eligibility of future telecommunication planning and implementation efforts for DHCD funding;
- conduct informational and training programs; and
- identify and procure professional assistance as necessary.
Generally, funding from DHCD must be combined with other resources.
Telecommunications efforts, which may include implementation (e.g., installation of a fiber network) or system development and support (e.g., community business training and education), may be eligible for assistance. All projects must demonstrate activities that are outcome-focused and demonstrate a direct relationship between intended project efforts and measurable, tangible improvements to the health of the community being served.
All projects funded must first submit a community telecommunications plan for approval by DHCD. Only implementation projects which target “last mile” installation of broadband applications will be considered for funding. (e.g., no long-haul backbone systems will be installed)
Applicant eligibility depends on the scope and location of the proposed project. Only units of local government in non-entitlement localities are the only eligible recipients of VCDBG funding. Virginia ARC eligible applicants include localities, planning district commissions, educational institutions, health organization, nonprofit organizations and others.
- Virginia Telecommunication Initiative (VATI)
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact DHCD prior to undertaking any application process.