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 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream is eligible.
- The Application Guide provides guidance on rural areas currently eligible for Community Connect Grants
- Use our Mapping Tool to draw your proposed funded service area. The Mapping Tool also provides information on what counts as rural areas and the existing Rural Utilities Service borrowers and grantees.
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
- Less than 10% of the grant amount or up to $150,000 may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public
Are there other grant 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
- Grantees 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, Part 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
- For Program Resources please refer the "Forms and Resources" Tab
Who can answer questions about this program?
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call the Loan Origination and Approval Division at 202-720-0800
What governs this program?
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.
Preliminary Actions Required
To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.
- Webinar Presentation FY(2019)
- Webinar Recording FY(2019)
- SF 424 | 2019 (pdf)
- Community Connect Application Checklist
- Community Connect Application Guide
- Schedule H-1 | Pro Forma 5-Year Financial Forecast Single Application
- Schedule F1 & F2
- The RUS Broadband Mapping Tool is now available for Community Connect Grant Program applicants to create maps of their proposed funded service area. Create your proposed funded service area map using the RUS Broadband Mapping Tool.
- Community Connect Grant Program Standard Grant Agreement (pdf)
- Federal Register Final Rule - May 3, 2013 - The purpose of this regulatory change is to provide the Agency the ability to target limited resources to geographical as well as technological areas of need.
- Additional information about submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is available on the USDA FOIA website at: http://www.dm.usda.gov/foia.htm
- Corporations that have been convicted of a felony (or had an officer or agent acting on behalf of the corporation convicted of a felony) within the past 24 months are not eligible. Any Corporation that has any unpaid federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance provided with funds appropriated by the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, P.L. No. 112-55.
- All applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Any organization that applies for a Community Connect Broadband grant must provide their DUNS number on the SF-424, "Application for Federal Assistance." DUNS numbers are available without charge. See DUNS Q&A.
- Applicants wishing to apply for a Community Connect broadband grant online can do so at www.grants.gov. Your organization must have a DUNS number and complete the SAM registration process before submitting an application online.
Awards by State
Awards by Year
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
There are currently no events scheduled.