Community Connect Program – USDA Rural Development

The purpose of the Community Connect Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide, on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis, broadband service that fosters economic growth and delivers enhanced educational, health care, and public safety benefits.

About

What does this program do?

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. 

Who may apply for this program?

Eligible applicants include:

• State and local governments

• Federally recognized Tribes

• Nonprofits

• For-profit corporations

• Limited liability companies

What is an eligible area?

Rural areas that lack broadband service as defined in the most recent funding announcement are eligible.

How may the funds be used?

• The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for:

° all residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area

° all participating essential community facilities (such as public schools, fire stations, public libraries, and public safety stations)

• The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the essential community facilities for 2 years

• Up to 10 percent of the grant may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public

 

Are there other requirements?

Other program requirements include:

• Documentation supporting the scoring criteria

• An executive summary of the proposed project

• Grantees must have legal authority to provide, construct, operate and maintain the proposed facilities or services

• Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private, and nonprofit entities are encouraged

• For additional details, see 7 CFR, 1739 Matching funds of at least 15 percent from non-federal sources are required and can be used for operating costs.

How do we get started?

• Application windows for this program are announced through the national office on a periodic basis.

• Program Resources are available online at rd.usda.gov (includes forms, guidance, certifications, etc.)

Services Provided

Financial Resources and Assistance

  • Grant Funding Providers
Primary Contact
Roger Meeks
Address
100 Centennial Mall North
Lincoln, NE 68508