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USDA Community Connect Grants


Additional Links

Fact Sheet
Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Feb 20, 2024


USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)


Offers funds to expand broadband access to rural communities that do not have existing broadband services due to economic challenges. Seeks to support internet services to benefit and improve employment, education, healthcare, public safety, and community development in rural areas.

Funds can be used for:

  • Building, acquiring, or leasing facilities, spectrum, land, or buildings used to deploy and deliver broadband service for residential and business customers located within the proposed funded service area (PFSA), and participating critical community facilities such as public schools, fire stations, public libraries, and public safety stations
  • Improving, expanding, constructing, or acquiring a community center that provides free internet access and computer access points
  • Paying for the expense of offering free broadband service to critical community facilities for 2 years

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $5,000,000
Award floor: $100,000
Estimated number of awards: 50
Estimated total program funding: $79,000,000

Applicants must provide matching funds for a portion of the project. A minimum cash match of 15% of the requested grant amount must be obtained from non-federal sources and may be used for operating expenses.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants include:

  • Incorporated organizations
  • Federally recognized Indian tribes or tribal organizations
  • States
  • Units of local government
  • Other legal entities, including a cooperative, private corporation, or limited liability company organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis

Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private, and nonprofit entities are encouraged.

Applicants must have the legal capacity and authority to:

  • Enter into contracts
  • Comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations
  • Own and operate the broadband facilities as proposed in their application

Applicants must define a proposed funded service area (PFSA), located entirely within an eligible rural area where broadband service does not exist. For this opportunity, rural areas is determine by the latest decennial census of the U.S. Census Bureau, which is not located within:

  • A city, town, or incorporated area that has a population greater than 20,000 inhabitants or
  • An urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants. For purposes of the definition of rural area, an urbanized area means a densely populated territory as defined by the US Census Bureau

To see if an area is considered rural for this funding opportunity, use the Telecommunications Program Mapping Tool.

Organizations may not apply if the proposed funded service area for the project is currently receiving or has received final approval for other federal funding to construct terrestrial facilities providing at least 10/1 Mbps service.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • Operating Costs and Staffing

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information can be found in the Federal Register.

Updates to this program were made in a notice in the Federal Register on December 19, 2023.

Correction notice fact sheet

Additional information, resources, and materials are available on the program website. Applications must be submitted through the Community Connect Grants application system.

Fiscal year 2023 application guide
Application checklist
Applicant webinar recording
Applicant webinar slides


For program questions:

For additional information, contact the appropriate telecommunications general field representative for your state.

Rural Awards

Past awards communities have received are described on the program website.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Economic Development • Infrastructure • Teleservices and Technology