On July 28, 2020, Lt. Governor Jon Husted shared the state’s plan to expand broadband services in Ohio. The Lt. Governor announced that the state will set aside $50 million of state funding through the federal CARES Act to provide hotspots and internet-enabled devices to students.
The Ohio Department of Education, in collaboration with BroadbandOhio, will provide Ohio schools with the opportunity to apply for these funds through a grant application process. Invitations to apply will be sent to all Ohio public and non-public school entities on August 10, 2020. The grant application portal will open Monday, August 10 and close at 11:59pm on Friday, August 21. Grants will be reviewed and processed during the week of August 24 and awardees will be notified the week of August 31.
Phone and email support will not be available after 12 noon Friday, August 21.
The applicant must identify the eligible group that they intend to assist with the purchase of the technology. Those groups include:
- Economically disadvantaged students, as defined for EMIS reporting, including, students on free lunch;
- Vulnerable children and youth as defined by the Ohio Departement of Education;
- Students who might have chronic conditions; and
- Students who do not have other access to the internet.
Devices and services that provide connectivity such as:
- Home internet paid for by the district for students;
- Hotspots/Mifis with a service plan;
- Mobile hotspots (including on busses);
- Public Wifi infrastructure; and
- Other technology that provides a connection for the student.
- Laptops and Chromebooks that can only access the internet through Wifi or a wired connection;
- Hardware that does not contribute towards an internet connection;
- Devices that do not primarily allow a child to have access to the internet; and
- Cellphones unless repurposed to only function as a hotspot.
Each application is limited to a $250,000 request. If total eligible requests exceed $50 million, the final award amount will be prorated. See FAQ for more information.
Each eligible entity must apply individually on its own behalf.
Note: Phone and email support is not available Friday, August 21, after noon.