Applicants for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service Community Connect program have until Dec. 23, 2020 to apply for grants for the 2021 fiscal year. The USDA Community Connect program offers financial assistance to eligible applicants that will construct broadband networks that provide service on a community-oriented connectivity basis in rural areas.
The program will prioritize areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband. The grants range from $100,000 to $3 million. All applicants are required to execute the required grant documents before money will be advanced.
USDA Community Connect
The government funding is dependent on an applicant funding at least 15% of any proposed project. Grant applicants must demonstrate matching contributions to be used solely for the project and must not include any financial assistance from federal sources unless there is a federal statutory exception.
The USDA is encouraging submissions for projects designed to “provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation.”
Among the areas suggested for grant applications are:
Applications must be submitted to the USDA at https://www.rd.usda.gov/community-connect
The USDA Community Connect grant program is among one of many federal and state rural broadband funding programs designed to help close the digital divide. ETI is honored to work with clients who are active in bringing broadband to every corner of the country.