Infrastructure For Human Services Providers
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USDA — Community Connect Program
- Summary: The Community Connect grant provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband service in rural, economically-challenged communities where service does not exist. Matching funds of at least 15% from non-federal sources are required and can be used for operating costs.
- Description: The purpose of this funding stream is to help 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. Eligible applicants include incorporated organizations, federally-recognized tribes, and state and local governments among others. Funds can be used for the cost of providing broadband service free of charge to critical communities facilities.
- Application Information/Link: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants
There was an application deadline on December 23, 2020. An additional $35 million was allocated for this program in December 2020 under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2021. More details will follow as new information is released.
USDA — Additional Programs
The Department of Agriculture has several other telecommunication programs, similar to the ReConnect program, that fund broadband infrastructure including:
- USDA Rural Development’s Rural Utilities Programs provide a variety of loans and grants to build and expand broadband networks.
- Eligible applicants include for-profit and non-profit entities, tribes, municipalities and cooperatives. USDA particularly encourages investments in tribal and economically disadvantaged areas.
- Once funds are awarded, Rural Development monitors the projects to make sure they are completed, meet all program requirements and are making efficient use of Federal resources.
- Each program has different applicant and project eligibility requirements and program objectives.
Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantees: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-broadband-access-loan-and-loan-guarantee
Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Guarantees: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/telecommunications-infrastructure-loans-loan-guarantees