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USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Finance Rural Broadband

Nikki Gillespie
Release Date
Dec 19, 2014

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer announced today that USDA is soliciting applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Community Connect Program grants. The program provides grants to establish essential broadband services in rural communities where it is currently not available.

“Many rural communities in Minnesota do not have access to broadband,” said Landkamer. “USDA’s Community Connect Grant Program ensures that rural residents have the ability to run businesses, get the most from their education, and benefit from the infinite services that fast, reliable broadband provides.”

The minimum amount for grants awarded will be $100,000; the maximum is $3,000,000. The deadline for applications to be submitted is February 17, 2015.

Last year, USDA announced new rules to better target Community Connect grants to areas where they are needed the most. To view the rules, go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-05-03/pdf/2013-10502.pdf

Since its inception, the Community Connect program has funded 237 projects with investments of $149 million nationwide.

For more information, see page 75120 of the December 17, 2014 Federal Register.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested over $5.1 billion in rural communities throughout Minnesota. These investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural communities in Minnesota to continue sustainable economic growth – strengthening Minnesota’s economy, small towns and rural communities.