Virginia Telecommunications Initiative (VATI)

Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development

Program Type:

Grant

Eligible Geography:

Virginia

Summary:

DHCD will award funding to applicants to provide last-mile services, including middle-mile networks, equipment, or other investments required to deliver last-mile service to unserved areas of the Commonwealth. Up to $19,000,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 is available.

Unserved areas are defined as having broadband speeds below 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 3 Megabits (Mbps) upload. Areas lacking 10 Megabits per second download and 1 Megabits per second upload speeds will be given significant priority in application scoring.
- For a wireline project, a proposed project area is considered eligible if 10 percent or fewer of serviceable units have access to service with no special construction costs from any provider as of the date of the application.
- For a wireless project, a proposed area is considered eligible if 25 percent or fewer of serviceable units have access to service with no special construction costs from any provider as of the date of the application. Passings with RSSI below -90dbm are not eligible to be included in a VATI application.

Eligible Recipients:

For-Profit Business; Local Government

Eligible Recipients Detail:

Applications must be submitted by a unit of government with a private-sector provider(s) as a co-applicant. (Units of government include towns, cities, counties, economic and industrial development authorities, broadband or wireless authorities, planning district commissions, etc.). Publicly owned networks are eligible for the program when partnered with a private sector co-applicant, so long as the private sector applicant is serving as the customer-facing internet service provider.

Eligible Purpose:

Last Mile Connectivity; Middle Mile Connectivity

Eligible Purpose Detail:

Last-mile services, including middle-mile networks, equipment, or other investments required to deliver last-mile service.

Excluded Programs:

Applicants must do their due diligence to determine if their proposed VATI project area has in whole or in part been awarded federal broadband funds. These programs include, but are not limited to, Connect America Funds II (CAFII), Reconnect, Community Connect, Alternative Connect America Cost Model1 (ACAM), and the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). RDOF areas preliminarily awarded to satellite internet service providers will not be considered as overlap and are allowed to be included in the VATI application. In the event the VATI co-applicant has been awarded federal broadband funds, they cannot use those funds as matching funds. However, they are encouraged to leverage their federal award and apply for VATI funding to extend service to areas beyond those that were awarded federal funds or to accelerate.

Funding Match/Terms:

VATI funding shall not exceed 80 percent of the total project cost. Applicants should note that the program is competitive however, and that those projects that bring greater match to the application are more likely to receive higher evaluations scores.