USDA Grants for Rural Broadband & Distance Learning

Over $32 million available to help rural communities across the country gain access to communications technologies to improve health, education and other services.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utility Service announced late last month that it's now accepting applications for grants from it's Community Connect Grant Program and Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Program.

The Community Connect Grant Program will provide up to $13 million to fund broadband in unserved areas. Awardees must serve an area where broadband service is very slow (3 Mbps or slower) or does not exist, provide a community center with broadband access (at a speed of at least 5 Mbps and to be provided free of charge to all users for at least 2 years) and offer broadband service to all residential and business customers. View Program Information

USDA is also making $19.3 million available for the he DLT program, which will provide access to rural education, training and health care resources. The DLT program finances telecommunications-enabled equipment and advanced technologies for people who live and work in rural areas. To be eligible, applicants must deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or residents of rural areas. View Program Information

The application deadline for both grants is July 7, 2014.

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