MPUS Response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Infrastructure Program Funding Opportunity
At the direction of Governor Tate Reeves, the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff (“MPUS”) requests project information in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (“NOFO”) announced in May 2021.
MPUS will serve as the central coordinating body to apply on behalf of Mississippi for the NTIA grant opportunity and is initially soliciting project information from eligible project partners who wish to join the MPUS application on behalf of Mississippi for NTIA broadband infrastructure funding.
Based on information received in response to this first solicitation, MPUS will invite respondents with projects that are well aligned with the NTIA funding criteria to provide additional project details. Based on the additional information collected, projects may be invited to collaborate with the MPUS state application. MPUS will submit a single application for Mississippi that can include multiple broadband providers and projects.
Covered partnerships that do not wish to join the MPUS application, and choose to file independently, should also submit information regarding their proposed projects to MPUS as outlined in section 9 of this RFI.
To receive consideration for inclusion in the state’s application, projects responding to this RFI must describe how they will meet the following criteria:
- Be competitively and technologically neutral for deployment of broadband service in an eligible service area. Projects should have the ability to evolve, sustain, and scale for future advanced services. Fiber is strongly encouraged.
- Result in minimum speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload (25/3) for every household in the eligible service area, with latency sufficient to support real time, interactive applications. Latency is interpreted to mean 95 percent or more of all peak period measurements of network roundtrip latency are at or below 100 milliseconds. Responses must include minimum speeds consistent with or exceeding these criteria.
- Provide service in an eligible service area. An eligible service area is a census block in which broadband service is not available at one or more homes or businesses according maps created under section 802(c)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 642(c)(1) or, if those maps are not available, the most recent information available to the NTIA including information provided by the Federal Communications Commission. Responses must demonstrate the number of unserved households, businesses, and anchor institutions that will be served by the project.
- Be scalable with plans to achieve speeds of 150/150 Mbps symmetrical by 2028. Responses must include a project plan timeline that includes major activities and key deployment milestones consistent with this goal.
Timeline for Applications
- July 20, 2021 - Request for Information closes at 5:00 pm
- July 21-28, 2021 - Review period. MPUS will follow up with project contacts for additional information as needed
- July 28, 2021 - Deadline for independent covered partnerships
- July 30, 2021 - MPUS selects projects to be included in the grant application, notifies respondents
- August 2-15, 2021 - Projects may be required to provide supporting materials (letters of commitment, etc.) or participate in live meetings during this period to finalize grant application.
- August 16, 2021 - MPUS submits grant application to NTIA.
Responses must be received by the MPUS point of contact no later than 5:00 pm Central Daylight Time, in Jackson, MS.
Responses may be submitted electronically to the Point of Contact listed below or delivered to:
Mississippi Public Utilities Staff
ATTN: Angel Stenmark
501 N. West Street, Suite 301B
Jackson, MS 39216
Angel.stenmark [at] mpus.ms.gov