USDA Announces New Round of Applications for Rural Broadband Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service announces the policy and application procedures for the second round of funding under its broadband program: ReConnect.

Beginning on January 31, 2020, USDA will accept applications for loans, grants and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. The ReConnect Pilot Program was established following the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to facilitate the expansion of broadband services and infrastructure in rural America. The 2018 Appropriations specifically authorized the expansion of broadband to rural communities where 90 percent of the households are without sufficient access to broadband service. The grants made under this program will also support the development of precision agriculture, a modern farming management concept, which requires a robust broadband connection. As a result, productivity on farms will increase as high speed broadband is brought to the rural areas of the United States.

Applicants must show that the funded projects would provide broadband service proposed in the application for the composite economic life of the facilities. Applicants must also demonstrate that all premises in the proposed service area can be offered broadband service as a result of the project. For more details and to apply go to: https://reconnect.usda.gov.

CEDD Staff can help you navigate the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and the application itself upon request. For more information, email vrittenhouse@centralina.org or mmanis@centralina.org.

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