ReConnect Loan and Grant Program

Link

https://www.usda.gov/reconnect

Additional Links

Fact Sheet
Notice of Funding Opportunity (Grants.gov)

Deadline

Application Deadline: May 21, 2024

Sponsor

USDA Rural Development (USDA RD)

Purpose

Offers funding to support the deployment of broadband service to rural areas without sufficient high-speed internet access. Seeks to generate private sector investment for broadband infrastructure and provide internet access to all sites in a proposed rural service area, including residential homes, community healthcare and public safety facilities, schools, libraries, business and industry, and agricultural operations. Proposed networks are required to deliver broadband service with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 20 Mbps.

The program offers 5 funding types.

  • 100% Grant: Funds are awarded competitively in the form of a grant.
  • 100% Grant for Alaska Native Corporations, tribal governments, Colonias, persistent poverty areas and socially vulnerable communities: Funds are awarded competitively in the form of a grant for these eligible applicants, as defined in the funding announcement.
  • 50% Loan/50% Grant Combinations: Awards are made competitively as a combination of grant and loan funding. Loan and grant amounts will always be equal.
  • 100% Loan: Funds are issued in the form of a fixed rate, low-interest loan. Applications are not evaluated on a competitive basis.

Funds may be used for:

  • Construction or improvement of buildings, land, and other facilities that are required to provide broadband service
  • Reasonable pre-application expenses not exceeding 5% of the award amount
  • Acquisition of an existing system that does not currently provide sufficient access to broadband - for 100% loan requests only

Amount of Funding

Award information for each funding type is as follows:

100% Grant: $150,000,000 total funds available

  • Award ceiling: $25,000,000
  • 25% match required

100% Grant for Alaska Native Corporations, tribal governments, Colonias, persistent poverty areas and socially vulnerable communities: $150,000,000 total funds available

  • Award ceiling: $25,000,000
  • No match required

50% Loan/50% Grant Combinations: $100,000,000 total funds available

  • Award ceiling: $25,000,000 grant and $25,000,000 loan
  • Interest rate set at U.S. Treasury rate at each advance of funds

100% Loan: $200,000,000 total funds available

  • Award ceiling: $50,000,000
  • 2% fixed interest rate

50% Loan/50% Grant Combination applicants may propose substituting cash for the loan component of the award at the time of application.

Who Can Apply

Eligible applicants must be one of the following for-profit or nonprofit organizations:

  • States, local governments, or any agency, subdivision, instrumentality, or political subdivision thereof
  • Territories or possessions of the United States
  • Indian tribes, as defined in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. ยง 450b)
  • Corporations
  • Limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships
  • Cooperatives and mutual associations

Applicants must be able to serve all premises in their service area. Proposed service areas for any project funded through this program must meet the following criteria:

  • Be located in an area where at least 90% of households lack access to fixed, terrestrial broadband service of at least 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream
  • Be located in a rural area, defined as any area not located in a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of 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.

Applicants may use the ReConnect program eligibility area map to determine if an address is located in an eligible service area.

Additional eligibility requirements regarding overlapping service areas and ineligible prior funded service areas can be found on the program website.

Geographic Coverage

Nationwide

What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • New Program

Application Process

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

Applications must be submitted through the USDA RD online application system.

Additional materials, forms, and resources for applicants are available on the program website.

Applicant webinar
(Registration required)
March 6, 2024
1:00 p.m. Eastern

Application guide
Application frequently asked questions
Applicant webinar recordings

Contact

For program questions:
Laurel Leverrier
202-720-9554
laurel.leverrier@usda.gov
Online contact form

Rural Awards

Examples of past awards rural communities received in fiscal year (FY) 2023 are described on the program website.

Topics This Program Addresses

Healthcare Facilities • Infrastructure • Teleservices and Technology