This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.
USDA Community Connect Grants
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
- 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.
What This Program Funds
Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • Operating Costs and Staffing
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.
For program questions:
For additional information, contact the appropriate telecommunications general field representative for your state.
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