Cell Towers Grant Program

Alert

Application cycle is currently closed. Funds have been awarded to applicants. This program isn't currently accepting applications.

Description

Round 1 Application Cycle: May 31 – October 20, 2023

 

Round 2 Application Cycle: October 20 – December 29, 2023

Do I Qualify?

This is a competitive grant program. The maximum grant award will be $750,000. The minimum grant award will be $100,000. The applicant maximum for program is $8 million. Private investment is not required; however prioritization will be given to projects for which the applicant is including a private investment of at least 20%.

The following entities are eligible to apply for the program:

  1. Cellular providers who own their own towers or can demonstrate a partnership with a tower owner.
  2. Tower owners that demonstrate a partnership with a cellular provider.

Maximum and minimum grant amounts are as follows:

  • Project minimum grant amount: $100,000
  • Project maximum grant amount: $750,000
  • Applicant maximum for entire Program: $8 million

How Do I Apply?

Open for Applications

The Cell Towers Grant Program Round 2 opened for applications on October 20, 2023, at 1 p.m. CST and will close on November 10, 2023. 

Link to application portal.

Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Program Guidelines

The guidelines for the Cell Towers Grant Program round 2 are now available. 

Funding Structure

Of the original $20 million appropriated by Governor Parson and the General Assembly, $7.9 million will be available in Round 2 for eligible providers and tower owners for the construction of new towers. 

Application launch date: October 20, 2023

Application close date: November 10, 2023

Award date: December 29, 2023

Need Help?

E-mail: grants@ded.mo.gov

Phone: 573-751-4962

Documents

Program Notes
State awards $7.9+ million through the ARPA Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program to fund the expansion of cellular service 
Round 2 Information

CHALLENGE PROCESS

The Cell Towers Grant Program's application challenge window will open November 27, 2023 at 1 p.m. CST and close on December 10, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

Round 2 Proposed Project Areas - Round 2 Interactive Map

The application challenge portal can be accessed here.

A challenge will succeed when OBD determines that:

  • The challenging provider currently provides cellular service to retail customers at the minimum quality service levels from a tower within 5 miles of the proposed new tower.

OR

  • The challenging provider has begun substantive construction to provide cellular service to retail customers from a tower within 5 miles of the proposed new tower.

Challenge Certification

Download, complete, sign, and notarize the Challenge Certification document to upload to your challenge application.

Getting Started

Review the Cell Towers Grant Program Guidelines prior to completing this application to ensure understanding of the program and requirements.

Refer to this map for proposed project location areas. 

Download proposed project shapefiles for Round 2 here.

Download proposed construction boundaries One and Two.

A list of challengeable new tower applications can be found here.

 

Round 1 Award Area Shapefiles

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION - ROUND 2

The Cell Towers Grant helps improve accessibility for those without access to quality cellular service. Funds are available for projects that will serve areas lacking quality service prioritizing those tower projects which are located on public lands. This competitive grant program will support the construction of new towers. 

  • Total allocation for Round 2: $7,977,918.06
  • Application launch date: October 20, 2023
  • Application close date: November 10, 2023
  • Award date: December 29, 2023 (tentative)

Multiple funding rounds will be held in Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024). Dates for future rounds will be announced at the close of each round until all funds are awarded. 

Round 2 Details

Cell Towers Grant Program Round 2 applications can be applied for and submitted here.

Program guidelines for Round 2 can be found here.

Changes to guidelines for Round 2:

  • Round 2 will only support the construction of new towers.
  • Applicants that have been awarded funds from the previous funding cycle will be carried over into this funding cycle, Applicant maximum for entire Program is $8M.
  • Shortened Application and Challenge Cycle windows.
  • The Challenge Process will be based on proposed projects' tower proximity to existing towers providing a minimum quality signal within 5 miles.
    • Only accepting challenges from within 5 miles of the application tower
  • Round 2 proposed service area cannot overlap with any Round 1 service area

Who Should Create the Submittable Account?

The email address of the individual creating the Submittable account will be the primary contact for communication between OBD and the challenger. This email address will receive notifications about challenge status and will be the recipient of any questions regarding your challenge. Each Submittable account is able to submit multiple challenges. Each account must complete the challenge form and submit it prior to beginning additional challenges.

State awards $12 million through the ARPA Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program to fund the expansion of cellular service 

Accordion coThe Department of Economic Development (DED) announced that it has awarded a total of $12 million through the Cell Towers Grant Program for 29 projects. Grant awards will be used to construct new towers that provide quality cellular service and greater 911 connectivity to high-cost areas. The program, funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), is focused on investing in the expansion of cellular service statewide to 17,000 addresses. 

Round 1 Information

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Cell Towers Grant will fund the construction, retrofitting, or refurbishment of towers on public lands improving access for those who depend on cellular service for internet. The program will target areas with less than 50 persons per square mile.

  • Total allocation: $20,000,000
  • Application launch date: May 31, 2023
  • Application close date: July 30, 2023
  • Award date: October 13, 2023 (tentative)

Multiple funding rounds will be held in Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 (July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2024). Dates for future rounds will be announced at the close of each round until all funds are awarded. 

CHALLENGE PROCESS

The Cell Towers Grant Program's application challenge window will open August 25, 2023 at 12 a.m. CST and close on September 24, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CST.

A challenge will succeed when OBD determines that:

  1. The challenging provider currently provides cellular service to retail customers at the minimum quality service levels within the proposed service area.

OR

  1. The challenging provider has begun substantive construction to provide cellular service to retail customers within the proposed service area.

Challenge Certification

Download, complete, sign, and notarize the Challenge Certification document to upload to your challenge application.

Getting Started

Review the Cell Towers Grant Program Guidelines prior to completing this application to ensure understanding of the program and requirements.

A list of challengeable new tower applications can be found here..

Proposed Project Area Shapefiles

This is a competitive grant program. The maximum grant award will be $750,000. The minimum grant award will be $100,000. The applicant maximum for program is $8 million. Private investment is not required; however prioritization will be given to projects for which the applicant is including a private investment of at least 20%.

The following entities are eligible to apply for the program:

  1. Cellular providers who own their own towers or can demonstrate a partnership with a tower owner.
  2. Tower owners that demonstrate a partnership with a cellular provider.

Maximum and minimum grant amounts for each application category are as follows:

Retrofit and Refurbishment of Towers

  • Project minimum grant amount: $25,000
  • Project maximum grant amount: $300,000

New Tower

  • Project minimum grant amount: $100,000
  • Project maximum grant amount: $750,000

Closed for Applications

The Cell Towers Grant Program opened for applications on May 31, 2023, at 4 p.m. CST and closed on July 31, 2023. Application portals were separated into two project categories:

  1. Construction of new towers
  2. Retrofitting and/or refurbishment of existing towers

Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Program Guidelines

The final guidelines for the Cell Towers Grant Program are now available. 

*Note: Guidelines were updated 5/26/2023 to update program dates.

Funding Structure

To ensure that applicants are competing against similar projects across the state, the program is allocating funding based on the following:

Category 1: Construction of New Towers

Available Funds: $17 Million

Category 2: Retrofit and or Refurbishment of Existing Towers

Available Funds: $3 Million

*Note: DED intends to fund projects in both funding categories. In the event that demand does not exhaust funds in one category, those remaining funds can be awarded to projects in the other category.

Application launch date: May 31, 2023

Application close date: July 31, 2023

Award date: October 13, 2023

 

Cell Towers Grant Program Application Training - June 28, 2023