Broadband Fund for Communities

The availability of stable, high‑speed Internet infrastructure is critical for access to essential resources and public services, and to enable economic growth and diversification. The Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund provides financial assistance to local Prince Edward Island internet service providers (ISPs), communities and businesses for the installation of infrastructure for enhanced broadband services. Through this program, partnerships and collaborations are encouraged and support is provided for increased service levels, improved access and consumer choice for connectivity.

The Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund (PEIBF) provides a contribution of up to 50% of the eligible costs for a project approved for funding. Applications must be submitted prior to the start of a project; any expenses incurred before the submission of an application are ineligible.

Section 1: Program Guidelines

Applicant Eligibility     

You may be eligible to access the Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund (PEIBF) if you are:

  • A Prince Edward Island community that requires increased service levels and/or has un-serviced / underserved areas 

Project Eligibility     

A project may be eligible for PEIBF support where costs will be incurred for broadband network construction and deployment, including “last mile” and/or backbone infrastructure.

Projects related to operational costs, repairs or maintenance for existing infrastructure or for New
Customer-Premises connection are not eligible for PEIBF support. More details are provided in the Eligible and Ineligible Costs section of this guide.

Contribution Limitations     

The contribution from PEIBF is to a maximum of 50% of the eligible costs of the approved project. The maximum, total grant contribution from all Government of Prince Edward Island sources cannot exceed 50%. Loans or other repayable contributions are not included within this calculation. Where a project receives any other grant funding from the Government of Prince Edward Island, the contribution from PEIBF may be reduced.

All applicants will be required to inform PEIBF of financial assistance received or requested for the project prior to the approval of a contribution. Furthermore, the contribution agreements will contain a continuing disclosure obligation, for the duration of the agreement, concerning other government assistance.

Proposal Evaluation     

PEIBF encourages partnerships and collaboration for the most effective and innovative solutions. All applications will be evaluated on provision of the information requested, including completeness and suitability of the information, and will be assessed on factors including:

  • Capacity and coverage of civic addresses;
  • The economic impact in a region or community;
  • Provision of consumer choice for connectivity and pricing;
  • Deployment of innovative solutions for long-term sustainability;
  • Incremental broadband improvement and quality of the proposed service;
  • Ability of the internet service provider to complete and operate the proposed infrastructure;
  • Availability of PEIBF budget.

Innovation PEI reserves the right to offer partial awards and/or to negotiate project scope changes with applicants. Proposals will be evaluated based on compliancy with the information requested, suitability of the information, and quality of the proposed service

Financing and Related Requirements     

The applicant must demonstrate that all remaining financing is in place, contracted, and sufficient to see the project through to its completion.

Administration and Process     

The PEIBF is administered by Innovation PEI on behalf of the Province of Prince Edward Island. There is no administration or application fee charged to applicants.

Financial and status reporting will be required at various milestones, specifically the Planning, Construction and Completion stages. If your project is approved, a letter of offer will be sent to you. This will create a contract between yourself and Innovation PEI, and will clearly stipulate the obligations of both parties. More detail regarding monitoring of your project and required reporting is included within the Claiming Payment section of this guide.

Claiming Payment from PEIBF     

The applicant will submit the required financial and status reporting, including supporting documentation, to Innovation PEI at specified dates and/or milestones, as detailed within the contract between the parties. Innovation PEI may also request and conduct periodic onsite inspections and/or functionality demonstrations to further evidence the status of the project.

Once Innovation PEI has determined that all required documentation has been received, and validated the value of the payment available from the PEIBF, it will issue payment to the applicant via cheque or electronic funds transfer.

Eligible Project Costs     

Eligible costs are those direct costs that can be specifically identified and measured as having been required and incurred to implement and complete the project including, but not limited to:

  • Direct Labour Costs, meaning the portion of gross wages or salaries incurred for work;
  • Direct Material Costs, including passive supplies such as fibre optic cable, coaxial cable, copper wire, patch cords, last mile network towers/poles, fibre termination equipment, outdoor cabinets, and conduits;
  • Direct Equipment Costs, including servers, switches, repeaters, radio equipment, backbone, back-up power supplies, shelters, and network broadband connectivity equipment including upgrades; and
  • Other Direct Costs, meaning those applicable direct costs not falling within the prior categories, but that are necessary for the physical infrastructure.

Ineligible Project Costs     

Ineligible Costs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Costs incurred before the project application date, or after the project completion date;
  • Costs related to developing the application for funding;
  • Purchase, lease and other costs related to land acquisition/lease, buildings (except for equipment shelters not meant for human occupation) and other facilities, including permanent shelters for housing network-related equipment;
  • Existing capital assets including land, buildings, vehicles and other indirect, fixed, and/or capital costs;
  • Operational costs for infrastructure built as a result of the project, including repairs and ongoing maintenance;
  • New Customer-Premises connection (CPE) costs including, but not limited to, drop, antenna/poles/towers, modem/router;
  • Indirect and fixed costs, including general office space and office equipment;
  • Insurance costs and legal fees;
  • Financing or carrying costs, loan and interest payments;
  • Contingency provisions;
  • Taxes for which the applicant is eligible for a tax rebate and all other costs eligible for rebates;
  • Cost of any goods or services that are received through donations or in-kind;
  • Training to set up an Internet service provider or on-going training to implement the project;
  • Advertising/promotion activities; and
  • Radio and Spectrum licensing fees.
     

Innovation PEI reserves the right to adjust eligible and/ or ineligible costs within the PEIBF. All eligible and ineligible costs specific to an approved application will be detailed within the letter or offer.

Proposal Inquiries and Questions     

Proponents are encouraged to work with Innovation PEI staff in the preparation of their application and proposal. Inquiries regarding PEIBF can be addressed by contacting:

Joseph Rowledge, Senior Policy Advisor - Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
Tel: 902-620-3974    Email: jfrowledge@gov.pe.ca    Fax: 902-368-4242

Section 2: Application Guide

Proposal Requirements     

Each application to the PEIBF must include: 

  • Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund application form in signed PDF format via email or hard copy 
  • Proposal Description as detailed below (If submitted electronically, the project proposal file must be provided in either a Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx) or an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format and must be print ready.)

Supporting Documentation Requirements

Your proposal must include all of this information:

  1. Profile of the community
    1. Identify council members
    2. Current internet service status of project location, and proposed service status at project completion
  2. Information on the estimated costs
    1. Itemized project cost estimate must be supported by written quotation(s) and proposal from internet service provider(s)
  3. Financial information
    1. Financial Statements for the previous two years
  4. Financial Requirements
    1. Sources of project funds (total sources of funds must equal total project cost):
      1. Amount requested through PEIBF
      2. All other sources of funds
      3. Provide appropriate contact information for confirmation of financing (for example, lending institutions, banks, government loans and/or grants)

Application Submissions     

Applications may be submitted to:

Innovation PEI Attention: PEIBF
Email: business@gov.pe.ca 94 Euston Street
PO Box 910, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7L9

broadband_fund_communities.pdf

Published date: 
October 21, 2019
Innovation PEI

General Inquiries

Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street
PO Box 910
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7L9

Phone: 902-368-6300
Toll-free (North America): 1-800-563-3734
Fax: 902-368-6301

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innovation@gov.pe.ca