The Cell Towers Grant Program Challenge Process opened August 25 and will close September 24 at 11:59pm CST [***NOTE: an interactive version of the challenge map and shapefiles of the proposed project areas are now available.]
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.
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:
- The challenging provider currently provides cellular service to retail customers at the minimum quality service levels within the proposed service area.
- The challenging provider has begun substantive construction to provide cellular service to retail customers within the proposed service area.
Download, complete, sign, and notarize the Challenge Certification document to upload to your challenge application.
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.
Consult the Cell Towers Challenge Map to see proposed project locations and determine potential overlap.
Proposed Project Area Shapefiles
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.
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:
- Cellular providers who own their own towers or can demonstrate a partnership with a tower owner.
- 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
- Project minimum grant amount: $100,000
- Project maximum grant amount: $750,000
How Do I Apply?
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:
- Construction of new towers
- Retrofitting and/or refurbishment of existing towers
Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a first come, first served basis.
The final guidelines for the Cell Towers Grant Program are now available.
*Note: Guidelines were updated 5/26/2023 to update program dates.
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