Q: What is the purpose of the Rural Broadband I.D.?
A: The Rural Broadband I.D. Expenses Trust Fund shall be used for one-time grants (the “Award”) for the defrayment of expenses for broadband due-diligence business studies incurred by prospective federal broadband program applicants, in anticipation of and before applying for federal funding.
Q: What does the business study include?
A: Broadband due-diligence business study includes analytical research designed to acquire the data necessary to support applications for federal grants or loans for broadband development programs.
Broadband due-diligence business studies include without limitation:
- Full feasibility determinations, including economic business plans;
- Twenty-year financial break-even analysis;
- Competitive broadband analysis;
- Demographic analysis, with comparison to other projects; and
- The ordering of construction plans to maximize return
Q: When does the 6-month timeline begin?
A: The six-month timeline begins from the date the Award is transferred to the awardee. Each awardee is expected to complete their business study within 6 months.
Q: What if I have Surety Bond format questions?
A: Please contact Arkansas State Treasurer Office; Grant Wallace at 501-682-5888.
Q: When does the Surety Bond need to be filed?
A: Within three days of receiving the Award, Awardee must file a surety bond in the amount of the Award with the Arkansas Treasurer of State and provide IDHI a copy of the Surety Bond and verification of its filing.
Q: Can the Awardee use the Award to pay for the Surety Bond?
A: Yes, Awardee may use a portion of the funds to purchase a Surety Bond.
Q: What are the time lines for audit accounting submission?
A: Awardees must provide an audited accounting of the Award at 4 (four) months and 6 (six) months (time begins when funds are transferred into the Awardee’s account). Audited accounting of disbursed funds for conducting the broadband due-diligence business studies should include the following information:
- Information concerning the organization(s) conducting the broadband due-diligence business studies;
- The amount paid to those organizations;
- The due-date for final report (6 months from Award receipt);
- Break-down of all expenses related to the business studies, including copies of paid invoices or receipts;
- The final 6 (six) month reporting should include a copy of the final business study to IDHI. The final 6 (six) month audited accounting should be provided to IDHI within 2 (two) weeks of study completion.
Q: What happens if IDHI’s review of the audit accounting finds an expense ineligible?
A: IDHI will notify Awardee that the expense is ineligible and that Awardee will be required to return the amount of ineligible expense to the Treasurer of State within 9 months after receipt of Award.
Q: What do we do with leftover funds?
A: Awardee acknowledges that any funds not expended on the business study must be returned to the Treasurer of State within 9 months after receipt of the Award.
Q: Do we report back on the outcomes of the work?
A: Awardee must provide a written report to IDHI semiannually (by end of each December and June) about the status of the Awardee’s work and cite reports, analyses, or federal grants finalized as a consequence of the Rural Broadband ID Expense Fund award.