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.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants (Traditional DLT)


Additional Links

Fact Sheet
Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Jan 30, 2023


USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)


Funds telecommunication projects that support distance learning and telemedicine services to increase access to education, training, and healthcare resources for students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents. Emphasizes telecommunication projects that help rural communities promote equity and foster economic and community development.

Funds may be used for:

  • Eligible capital assets, such as:
    • Broadband facilities
    • Purchasing audio, video, and interactive video equipment
    • Terminal and data terminal equipment
    • Acquiring computer hardware, network components, and software
    • Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant services
  • Obtaining instructional programming related to equipment use
  • Obtaining technical assistance and training related to equipment use

Projects that work to increase rural communities' capacity to deliver prevention, treatment and/or recovery services to address substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid misuse are a focus of the program.

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $1,000,000
Award floor: $50,000
Estimated number of awards: 100
Estimated total program funding: $64,000,000

$12 million of the total program funding is intended for telemedicine projects that provide SUD treatment services in rural areas.

Applicants must provide matching funds of at least 15% of the total project costs.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants are most entities that offer education or healthcare through telecommunications, including:

  • State and local governmental organizations
  • Federally recognized tribes
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Incorporated, for-profit businesses
  • Consortia of eligible entities

Eligible programs must benefit rural areas with populations of 20,000 or less as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that advance the following USDA Rural Development priorities:

  • Supporting health needs related to COVID-19 and preparing for future pandemics
  • Ensuring racial equity
  • Rebuilding the rural economy
  • Addressing the climate crisis

Special consideration is given to projects that serve tribal lands, farmworker communities, and distressed energy communities.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing • Training Providers

Application Process

Application requirements, instructions, and other relevant information can be found in the funding announcement.

Applications are competitively scored according to objective and subjective categories. Applicants must earn a minimum rurality score of 20 points, as an average score for all sites included in the project, to be eligible for an award. Use the worksheets to determine a rurality score or special considerations for this program.

Application guide
Application checklist
Applicant webinar recording and slides


For programmatic or technical questions:
Randall Millhiser

Online contact form

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

Rural Awards

Past awards rural communities received in fiscal year (FY) 2021 and a map of recently funded projects are described on the program website.

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Planning and Coalition Building • Economic Development • Education and Training • Health Education for Community and Patients • Infrastructure • Opioids • Prevention • Recovery • Substance Use Disorder • Teleservices and Technology • Treatment