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. To learn more about recently funded DLT projects, Rural Development has developed a map of recently funded DLT projects All upcoming events will be posted on the events program tab.
The agency is providing this additional filing window for those that could not complete applications prior to the Window 1 deadline. This window also makes available up to $25 million received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). While the CARES Act requires these funds be used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, the agency believes that all DLT projects already serve that purpose. As a result, while not required, applicants are encouraged to identify specific ways in which their application addresses COVID-19. This second application window is announced through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) published on this web page and in Grants.gov.
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.
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?"
Second Funding Window
April 14, 2020 - July 13, 2020
FY 2020 DLT Program Resources:
- DLT Original FOA - 2/10/2020
- DLT Application Guide
- DLT Worksheets
- DLT Draft Grant Agreement
- Form SF424
- DLT Application Checklist
- Map of Recently Funded Projects
- SAIPE Summary
DLT 2020 Webinars
On May 5, 2020, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) held a webinar focused on application Window 2 for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program in FY 2020. The webinar discussed the changes from the first application window and emphasized key points to keep in mind when preparing an application for the program. The slides from the session can be viewed below. A recording of the webinar will be posted soon.
On February 27, 2020, and March 3, 2020, RUS held webinars focused on application Window 1 for the DLT Grant Program in FY 2020. These webinars informed participants about the major eligibility and regulatory requirements of the program and provided detailed guidance on how to submit a successful grant application.
Previous Year Award Summaries
- 2020 Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant Program Webinar Slides
- 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.