This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service.
Who may apply?
Eligible applicants include:
- Most State and local governments
- Federally-recognized Tribes
- For-profit corporations
What is an eligible area?
Rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream is eligible.
- The Application Guide provides guidance on rural areas currently eligible for Community Connect Grants
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 (PFSA)
- all participating critical community facilities (such as public schools, fire stations, and public libraries)
- The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the critical 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
Are there other grant requirements?
- Buildings constructed with grant funds must be located on property owned by the awardee
- Leasing expenses will only be covered through the advance of funds period included in the award documents
- Grantees must have legal authority to provide, construct, operate and maintain the proposed facilities or services
- Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and non-profit entities are encouraged
- For additional detail see Code of Federal Regulations 7 CFR, Part 1739
Are there any other grant requirements?
- Matching funds of at least 15% from non-federal sources are required and can be used for operating costs