Community Connect Grant Program

Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service

Summary:

The Community Connect program helps fund broadband deployment in rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private-sector providers to deliver service. The grant program offers financial assistance to eligible applicants that will construct broadband networks that provide service on a community-oriented connectivity basis in rural areas.

Eligible Recipients:

For-Profit Businesses; Non-Profit Organizations; Internet Service Providers; Local Government; State Government

Eligible Recipients Detail:

Incorporated organizations; Federally-recognized Tribes; State and local units of government; and any other legal entity, including cooperatives, private corporations, or limited liability companies organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.

Eligible Purpose:

Anchor Institution Connectivity; Last Mile Connectivity; Middle Mile Connectivity

Eligible Purpose Detail:

Funds can be used for:
-The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for all critical community facilities (such as public schools, fire stations, and public libraries), or residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area.
-The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the essential community facilities for 2 years
-Less than 10% of the grant amount or up to $150,000 may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public.

Excluded Programs:

Communities where USDA Rural Utilities Service has previously provided funding for construction of broadband infrastructure may not be eligible.

Other Eligibility Criteria:

Rural areas that lack any existing broadband with speeds of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream are eligible to receive financing.

Funding Match/Terms:

Matching funds of at least 15% from non-federal sources are required and can be used for operating costs.

Note/Additional Resources:

https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/fact-sheet/508_RD_FS_RUS_CommunityConnect.pdf

Source:

https://broadbandusa.ntia.doc.gov/sites/default/files/bbusa_federalfunding_all_200511.pdf