Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: EPIC Grant Program Opportunities to Receive $100K+ for Community Networks Seeking to Expand Internet Access

February 17, 2021

A broadband grant is open for applications through March 5, 2021. The $1 million Expanding Potential in Communities (EPIC) Grant program is funded by Truist Bank and administered by the Internet Society  https://www.internetsociety.org/grants/epic/.   This program provides grants for eligible communities across the southeast United States, including Florida, ranging from $125,000-180,000.

Non-profit organizations, local governments, municipalities, townships, public-private partnerships, and cooperative organizations are eligible to apply for the Truist EPIC Grant. The grant is geared towards networks that serve low-income communities with significant Black, Indigenous, and diverse populations. Grant funding may be used to build a new network or expand an existing one.

Applicants must meet the following “Eligibility Criteria” to be considered for a grant:

  • Timeframe – project must show tangible results* within a year of receiving funding. Funding will occur in two stages between April and December 2021.
  • Bandwidth – project must provide a minimum broadband threshold for deployment.
  • Applicant must have an official bank account in their name (based on their legal registration) in order to be eligible for a grant.

Grant proposals who meet the minimum eligibility above will be reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Dedicated local champion
  • Community-backed support
  • Sustainability plan
  • Minimum bandwidth requirements
  • Availability of local tech partners (ISP, IXP)
  • Financial management skills
  • Digital literacy
  • Low barrier from local laws – low license fees
  • Available spectrum (low fees)
  • End user hardware available (phone, computer, WiFi router)
  • Power infrastructure for towers
  • Local infrastructure for deployment (schools, libraries)
  • Target demographic impacted

Thank you.

   Katie Smith
   Director, Office of Community Partnerships & Florida Office of Broadband
   Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
   Office: 850-717-8445