The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) has issued an order establishing the E-Rate Special Construction State Matching Grant Program as a way to help facilitate the build-out of new fiber to Nebraska libraries and schools.
The State program is designed to maximize federal support through the Federal CommunicationsCommission (FCC), E-Rate Special Construction Program, which provides funding for broadband connections in libraries and schools across the country.
“Establishing a state effort that would provide a match for the federal E-Rate program was part of the recommendations of the Rural Broadband Task Force,” said Commission Chair and TaskForce member Mary Ridder. “Libraries and schools are often technology hubs for rural communities. We are excited to be able to help incentivize new fiber construction to these vital public institutions.”
The E-Rate Special Construction State Matching Grant Program (NUSF-117) will make available one million dollars in support to be allocated over the four years of the program to applicants approved by both the state and federal programs.
Libraries and schools that are not currently fiber-connected and interested in applying for theState Matching Grant Program must meet the qualifications and complete the application contained in the Order (NUSF 117) issued by the PSC. Applications must be submitted by mid-December, with the PSC issuing notices of approval by mid-January.
Commissioner Ridder said, “We encourage any libraries and schools that lack a fiber connection to consider participating in this effort as we work to provide broadband to the unserved and underserved in our state.”