The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the Department of Agriculture is soliciting applications for grants under its Community Connect Grant Program. We attach the June 11, 2013, FEDERAL REGISTER notice. The program is designed to help bring broadband transmission service to rural low-income communities in an effort to enhance economic development and educational and health care opportunities. Tribes and tribal organizations are among the eligible applicants. The deadline for receipt of applications is July 11, 2013.
The RUS has $21 million in FY 2013 funds for this solicitation. Grants will range from $100,000 to $3 million. A 15 percent cash match is required.
To be eligible for a grant, a project must:
• Serve a rural area where broadband transmission service does not currently exist
• Deploy basic broadband transmission service, free of all charges for at least two years, to all critical community facilities located within the proposed service area
• Offer basic broadband transmission service to residential and business customers within the proposed service area
• Provide a community center with at least two computer access points within the proposed service area, and make broadband transmission service available therein, free of all charges to users for at least two years
Application materials for the Community Connect Grant Program may be found at the following website: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/utp_commconnect.html. For paper copies, call the RUS Broadband Division at 202-690-4673.
Please let us know if we may provide additional information regarding the Community Connect Grant Program.