USDA is now accepting applications for grants to bring broadband services to rural areas. State and local governments, corporations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for the grants from $50,000 to $1 million through USDA’s Community Connect Grant Program with $13.4 million available. The grants are needed to bring state-of-the-art broadband services to isolated and economically challenged communities currently without broadband.
Grant funding is to be used to:
- Construct, acquire, or lease broadband transmission services
- Improve, expand, or lease community centers that provide ten free computer access to broadband for at least two years before, during, and after normal work hours, and on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Purchase computer equipment
- Provide broadband to all critical community facilities such as first responders, police, and others within the proposed service area
Applications are due by June 19, 2009. Go to www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/commconnect.htm for more information, or call Kenneth Kuchno, Director, Broadband Division, RUS, or call 202-690-4673.