Program Status: Open
Applications must be submitted no later than February 17, 2015
Rural Development announces the final webinar that will focus on the Community Connect Grant Program. The webinar will take place on February 3rd from 1-3pm EST.
What does this program do?
This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.
Who may apply?
Eligible applicants include:
- Most State and local governments
- Federally Recognized Tribes
- For-profit corporations
What is an eligible area?
Rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 3 Mbps (download plus upload) is eligible.
- The Broadband Mapping Tool provides guidance on rural areas currently eligible for Community Connect Grants
- Public Notices regarding areas where applicants propose to provide service are also posted to the Mapping Tool website for public comment
How may the funds be used?
- The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for:
- all residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA)
- all participating critical community facilities (such as public schools, fire stations, and public libraries)
- The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the critical community facilities for 2 years
- Up to 10% of the grant may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public
Are there other requirements?
- Buildings constructed with grant funds must be located on property owned by the awardee
- Leasing expenses will only be covered through the advance of funds period included in the award documents
- Borrowers must have legal authority to provide, construct, operate and maintain the proposed facilities or services
- Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and non-profit entities are encouraged
- For additional detail see Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR 1739
Are there any other grant requirements?
- Matching funds of at least 15% from non-federal sources are required and can be used for operating costs
How do we get started?
- Applications for this program are serviced by RUS national office staff
- Program Resources are available online (forms, guidance, certifications etc…)
Who can answer questions about this program?
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call the Broadband Division, Telecommunications Program at 202-720-0800
- Contact your local RD office
What governs this program?
- Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended in 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.
- 7 CFR 1739 Subpart A
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
The Community Connect program helps rural communities extend access where broadband service is least likely to be commercially available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for people and businesses. The projects funded by these grants help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet for jobs, education, healthcare, public safety and community development.
NOTE: Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting a General Field Representative who serves your area for assistance or consult the program Instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"