CSAC Bulletin Article

Last Mile Federal Funding Account Application Process

July 13, 2023

The application window for the Last Mile Federal Funding Account grant program is now open. Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosted a webinar to provide an overview of the grant program, the application process, and how to submit applications through the Broadband Grant Portal. Information and guidance provided during the webinar, and more, is distilled and provided below for counties to access this funding.


As supported by CSAC, Senate Bill 156 (Chapter 112, Statutes of 2021), expanded the state’s broadband fiber infrastructure and increased internet connectivity through a historic $6 billion investment. $2 billion of those funds were allocated for last-mile broadband infrastructure projects. This investment complements state efforts to maintain and operate a middle-mile fiber network. The last-mile broadband infrastructure projects are intended to connect unserved and underserved Californians with high-speed broadband services.

Application Window

The application window opened on Friday, June 30, 2023, and will close on Friday, September 29, 2023, at 4:00PM. Determinations will be made within six months of submitting an application for grant funding. After the first round of applications, additional applications will be accepted every six months thereafter, as long as funding is available. Please refer to the graphic below, for a timeline of the grant process.

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted through the Broadband Grant Portal, which is now open. Each proposed project requires a single application. The CPUC has generated an Application Checklist, which describes all documentation required to complete and submit an application through the Broadband Grant Portal. More information regarding how to use the Broadband Grant Portal is available below:

Resources to navigate the Broadband Grant Portal:

  • Fact Sheet – An overview of the web-based application portal that streamlines the application and reporting process for the Federal Funding Account grant program.
  • User Guide and Video Demo – Written and video step-by-step instruction guides to accessing and using the Broadband Grant Portal.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

To assist applicants, the CPUC has also created an Applicant Tool to aid in visualization, mapping, and provides the data necessary to develop potential projects. More information regarding how to use the Applicant Tool is available below:

Resources to Navigate the Applicant Tool:

  • Registration – To access the Applicant Tool, applicants need to complete the registration form and create an account.

    • Information Sheet – An overview of the purpose of the Applicant Tool and how it provides important geographic, economic, and business case data to assist eligible applicants with developing their applications for the Federal Funding Account.
  • User Manual and Video – Written and video step-by-step instruction guides to accessing and using the Applicant Tool.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Funding Criteria and Eligible Projects

The $2 billion appropriated for the Last Mile Federal Funding Account provides $1 billion for urban counties and $1 billion to rural counties. Within these two pots of funding, each county is initially allocated $5 million. The remaining funding is allocated based on each county’s proportionate share of households without access to broadband internet access service.

More information regarding allocations per county, eligible geographic areas within counties, and project eligibility is available in the Federal Funding Account Program Rules and Guidelines
(CPUS Decision 22-04-055) and the program’s scoring rubric.

Additional Resources

The CPUC requests that questions about the program be submitted via email to federalfundingaccount@cpuc.ca.gov.  

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