Are Applications Being Accepted?: No, The FY 2018 funding window closed June 4th,2018. Applications submitted by the deadline are currently being reviewed.
Announcement : USDA Announces Funding to Increase Access to Education, Workforce Training and Health Care Opportunities in Rural Communities. For more details please see the news release
Announcement : The Final Rule announcing the revised Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) regulation (PDF) has been published in the Federal Register and the revised regulation, 7 CFR 1734 has been added to the e-CFR website.
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 more information on other programs administered by RUS Telecommunications please visit : http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all-programs/telecom-programs
Who may apply?
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 (typically after the first of the year) through a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) or a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) in the Federal Register. Applicants are required to provide a minimum 15 percent match. Awards can range from $50,000 to $500,000.
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?
7 CFR 1734
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.
NOTE: 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?"