Funding Opportunity: Broadband Development Office to Apply for State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program

The State Broadband Development Office (BDO) is currently developing their application for the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program (SDECGP), in which Texas was allocated $55.6 million to implement the initiatives identified in the Texas Digital Opportunity Plan (TDOP). This funding will be the first of three tranches over the course of next three years.

The deadline to submit the application to the federal government is May 28, 2024, and funds will be distributed to states no later than the end of August. The funding from SDECGP will be used to expand programs to enhance access to affordable devices and internet services and promote digital literacy across the state with programs tentatively beginning in late 2024 or early 2025.

More information about how Texas plans to administer the SDECGP, including how potential subgrantees can apply for funding, is still forthcoming.

The BDO has recently launched the  Texas Digital Opportunity Hub, which serves as a user-friendly version of the recently approved (TDOP). This portal will help communities, practitioners, grant seekers and decision makers find and use digital opportunity data for different Texas regions and populations.

The Hub offers a searchable, interactive resource finder to locate digital opportunity services, programs and leadership across the state. All stakeholders are encouraged to explore and share this new and exciting tool.

How Does This Affect Libraries?

While there are other federal programs that will provide infrastructure for broadband, the Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program will focus on digital literacy for all Texans, with an emphasis on covered populations. As written in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) these covered populations include:

  • Households with income of not more than 150% of the poverty level
  • Aging individuals
  • Veterans
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Individuals with a language barrier, including individuals who are English learners with low levels of literacy
  • Members of racial of ethnic minority groups
  • Individuals who primarily reside in rural areas
  • Incarcerated individuals.

Many libraries already count members of covered populations as their patrons. With this new grant program, there will be funding available to increase digital literacy among these groups. Libraries are considered vital community anchor institutions and are well positioned to offer digital literacy services to their communities.

What is Digital Literacy?

According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), digital literacy is the ability to use the latest information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create and communicate information.

To learn more, check out TSLAC’s Digital Literacy Training Toolkit. It’s a free training course with lesson plans, workbooks, activity worksheets and resources covering computer basics, email, Microsoft applications, resume writing and more. This valuable tool is available to anyone who wants to develop and improve their computer skills.

As the application deadline approaches, TSLAC will be working closely with the BDO to ensure funding opportunities for libraries are a priority. If you have any questions or comments about your own library’s needs, we want to hear from you. Email TSLAC’s Library Digital Opportunity office at

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