USDA Rural Development Opens Application for the Community Connect Grant Program.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development announces the opening of applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 for the Community Connect Grant Program. All applications must be received by no later than March 13, 2017.

Authorized under 7 C.F.R. 1739, Subpart A, the Community Connect Grant Program was created to provide financial assistance to provide service at the Broadband Grant Speed (i.e., minimum bandwidth of 10 megabits per second download and 1 megabits per second upload) in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not currently exist.  Grant funds may be used for

(a)  construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities used to deploy broadband service;
(b) the cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the critical community facilities for 2 years; and
(c)  a community center that provides free access to service at the Broadband Grant Speed to community residents for at least two years.

Eligible applicants include state and local unit of governments, tribal organizations, a cooperative, private corporation or limited liability company organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.  Applicants must provide a matching contribution in cash of fifteen percent of the grant.

More information on the application is available at:

The Community Connect Application Guide is located at:

Date Issued: 1/20/2017