What does this program do?
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. For the more information about the 2020 program, please register for one of our informational webinars on February 27, 2020 or on March 3, 2020. All upcoming events will be posted on the events program tab.
Who may apply?
For both programs, eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications, including:
- Most State and local governmental entities
- Federally-recognized Tribes
- For-profit businesses
- Consortia of eligible entities
DLT 100% grant applications are accepted through a competitive process. The application window is announced annually through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) published on this web page and in Grants.gov. The FOA for the FY 2020 program was published on February 10, 2020 and establishes an application due date of April 10, 2020. Applicants are required to provide a minimum 15 percent match. Awards can range from $50,000 to $1,000,000 in the FY 2020 program.
How may the funds be used?
Grant funds may be used for:
- Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as:
- Broadband transmission facilities
- Audio, video and interactive video equipment
- Terminal and data terminal equipment
- Computer hardware, network components and software
- Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services
- Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
- Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment
What kinds of funding are available?
Grant-only funds, awarded through a nationally competitive process – 15% match required
What are the grant terms?
A minimum 15% match is required for grant-only awards (cannot be from another federal source)
Who currently participates in this program?
See our DLT Recipient Directory for a list of current participants.
How do we get started?
- Applications for the grant program are accepted through the national office.
- Program Resources are available online (includes forms, guidance, certifications, etc.)
- Check back here or contact your General Field Representative for additional information
Who can answer questions about this program?
What governs this program?
Why does USDA Rural Development do this?
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural residents tap into the enormous potential of modern telecommunications and the Internet for education and health care, two of the keys to economic and community development.
Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm you have the most current information by contacting your General Field Representative for assistance, or consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Governs this Program?"
FY 2020 Traditional Program Resources :
- DLT FOA
- DLT Application Guide
- DLT Worksheets
- DLT Draft Grant Agreement
- Form SF424
- DLT Application Checklist
- SAIPE Summary
Previous Year Award Summaries
- Office for The Advancement of Telehealth
- National Telecommunications and Information Administration (DOC)
- FCC's Informational Education Website (E-rate)
- FCC's Rural Health Care Program
- Common Core of Data - Information on Public Schools and School Districts in the U.S.
Other Related Links (Non-Federal)
- American Telemedicine Association
- United States Distance Learning Association
- Universal Service Administration Company - Schools and Library Division
- Universal Service Administration Company - Rural Health Care Division
There are no other architect, engineering or environmental requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.
DLT 2020 Webinars
On February 27th and March 3rd, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host webinars focused on the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. These webinars will inform participants about the major eligibility and regulatory requirements of the program and will provide detailed guidance on how to submit a successful grant application. There will also be time for participants to ask specific questions about putting together an application.
Due to the limited amount of room available for each session, please register now for on the following webinars: