NTIA Launches Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has officially launched the $285 million Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program.

The CMC Pilot Program will address the lack of broadband access, connectivity, and equity at historically Black colleges or universities (HBCUs), Tribal colleges or universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). The CMC Pilot Program will grant funds to eligible recipients to purchase broadband internet access and/or any eligible equipment; or to hire and train information technology personnel to facilitate educational instruction (including remote learning), operate minority business enterprises, or operate tax-exempt organizations.

NTIA will publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on www.grants.gov to provide more details regarding the CMC eligibility guidelines, application instructions, and program requirements.

Applicants eligible for funding include:

  • Post-secondary institutions recognized by the Department of Education as enrolling a significant percentage of minority students
  • Post-secondary institutions designated by the Federal government as “historical institutions” (for example, HBCUs and TCUs)
  • Institutions that are not listed by the Department of Education but enroll a significant percentage of minorities (for example, Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) and Alaska Native-serving institutions)
  • Anchor communities, areas within a 15-mile radius of each eligible HBCU, TCU, or MSI, that meet the estimated median annual income of not more than 250 percent of the poverty line
  • Applicants with the “greatest unmet financial need” (referring to both the “eligible institutions” and the “students that attend eligible institutions”)
  • Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) (including 501(c)(3) organizations)

For more information about the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program, please contact any attorney in our office.