Nebraska Revised Statute 86-1304

Chapter 86

86-1304.

Grant; purpose; application; matching funds, required; qualifications; testing; repayment, when.

(1)(a) A provider, a cooperative, a political subdivision, or an Indian tribe may apply to the commission for a grant on forms provided by the commission. The grant shall only be used for development costs for a qualifying project. The application shall indicate the project area. The applicant shall provide matching funds equal to fifty percent of the total development costs of the project. In order to qualify, the project is required to provide broadband Internet service scalable to one hundred megabits per second for downloading and one hundred megabits per second for uploading, or greater. Applications shall be submitted on or before October 1, 2021, for fiscal year 2021-22, and on or before July 1 for each fiscal year thereafter.

(b) An application from a political subdivision or an Indian tribe shall be made as part of a public-private partnership with a provider.

(2)(a) As part of the application, the applicant shall agree to complete the project within eighteen months after the date the grant is awarded. The commission may permit one extension of up to six months upon request and for good cause shown.

(b) If a grant recipient fails to complete the project by the agreed or extended deadline, as the case may be, the recipient shall repay the grant as provided in this subdivision. If no extension is permitted, ten percent of the grant shall be repaid for each month that the project is not complete after the eighteen-month period, up to one hundred percent of the grant. If an extension is permitted, twenty percent of the grant shall be repaid for each month that the project is not complete after the twenty-four-month period, up to one hundred percent of the grant.

(3)(a) As part of the application, the applicant shall agree to submit the broadband network completed as a result of the grant to speed tests as determined by the commission. The grant recipient shall conduct the speed tests and submit the results to the commission. The speed tests shall be conducted for one week using a random sample of locations of consumers who subscribe to the network completed as a result of the grant.

(b) If the broadband network does not provide service at the speeds required pursuant to subdivision (1)(a) of this section according to the speed tests under subdivision (3)(a) of this section, the grant recipient shall be allowed a reasonable time to address the speed deficiencies and conduct a second set of speed tests as described in subdivision (3)(a) of this section. If the broadband network does not provide service at the speeds required pursuant to subdivision (1)(a) of this section according to the second set of speed tests, the grant recipient shall repay the grant.

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