Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced the Last Mile Infrastructure Grant Program, a new, flexible grant program designed to speed the deployment of broadband internet networks in unserved Western and Central Massachusetts communities. The grant program will award up to $20 million in capital funds directly to Last Mile towns, and will be administered by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED). The program received approval today from the MBI’s board of directors and EOHED anticipates opening the grant program for applications next week, pending the approval of the Executive Committee of MassTech’s board of directors.
The program is modeled on EOHED’s successful MassWorks Infrastructure Program, a flexible, competitive grant program that funds local infrastructure projects that unlock economic growth. You may remember that the subcommittee discussed and included a recommendation in the position paper that supported expanding the MassWorks Program to allow for broadband infrastructure grants.
In addition, EOHED and the MBI will continue to assist municipalities that wish to partner with private broadband providers, or explore alternative technologies. MBI will continue to provide design and engineering services to communities that prefer to work with the organization.