At CTC, Heather guides clients on strategic funding for network planning, as well as applying for and complying with the requirements of major federal broadband and communications grant programs, including ARC/EDA POWER grants, USDA RUS grants (such as ReConnect and Community Connect), and New Market Tax Credits. She has particular expertise in the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program, Lifeline program, and Healthcare Connect Fund.
Heather Mills has more than a decade of experience in project management and data analysis. She has exceptional skills in long-term strategic planning for broadband funding; execution of complex tactical funding plans; and grant administration, budgeting, and financial reporting. Heather leads the CTC team the develops grant funding strategies and delivers tactical application and post-award support to our public sector clients. She has authored guidance on new and emerging federal broadband funding programs that is highly regarded by industry colleagues.
Heather and her team supported several clients in the past year with applications to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance program for funding related to COVID relief; she guided clients in many parts of the country through the consultation process with EDA regional representatives. Under Heather’s management, the CTC team supported clients with strategy and navigation of the USDA ReConnect application process through Round 1 and Round 2, which required detailed understanding of the application, the application portal, and applied strategy.
Heather currently is advising clients on new federal funding programs such as the FCC’s Emergency Broadband Benefit and the NTIA’s COVID stimulus programs, while keeping a close eye on and providing singular analysis for clients around funding programs created by the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan AHeather has provided strategic guidance and prepared ARC/EDA POWER grant pre-applications for CTC’s public sector clients. She also prepared a FirstNet grant application for the District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer; following the award, she provided ongoing grant management services to help the District maximize the benefits of the funding.
Over the past few years, Heather wrote an E-Rate program guidebook, prepared client responses to E-Rate RFPs, oversaw and advised on the strategy and development of RFPs for library and school clients applying for E-Rate, and helped a hospital association develop a consortium-based approach to the Healthcare Connect Fund.
Heather previously led the CTC team that researched and wrote a successful federal Environmental Assessment (EA) and addenda for the $115 million One Maryland Broadband Network (OMBN) project—a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grantee. Following submission of the EA, she coordinated required consultations for the EA and addenda over a period of several months. Similarly, she wrote and coordinated consultations for an EA on behalf of the State of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources when that agency sought to construct a radar support tower on state land.