The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens. The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet.
The following entities are eligible for funding:
- Incorporated Organizations;
- Indian Tribes or Tribal Organizations, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b(e);
- State or local units of government; or
- Cooperatives, private corporations or limited liability companies organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.
The application window for the 2014 Fiscal Year Community Connect program is currently open. Applications must be submitted by July 7, 2014 in order to be considered for funding. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.
Grant funds may be used to finance the following:
- The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, including spectrum, land or buildings, used to deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA) and all participating Critical Community Facilities, including funding for up to 10 Computer Access Points to be used in the Community Center. Buildings constructed with grant funds must reside on property owned by the awardee. Leasing costs will only be covered through the advance of funds period included in the award documents;
- The improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a Community Center and provision of Computer Access Points. Grant funds for the Community Center will be limited to 10% of the requested grant amount. If a community center is constructed with grant funds, the center must reside on property owned by the awardee; and
- The cost of providing the necessary bandwidth for service free of charge to the Critical Community Facilities for 2 years.
RUS will be hosting a series of public webinars on the Community Connect program on June 3, June 18, and July 2, 2014 from 1-3 pm Eastern Daylight Time. Registration is required for these sessions. Please see this flyer for details on how to register
Corporations that have been convicted of a felony (or had an officer or agent acting on behalf of the corporation convicted of a felony) within the past 24 months are not eligible. Any Corporation that has any unpaid federal tax liability that has been assessed, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability, is not eligible for financial assistance provided with funds appropriated by the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, P.L. No. 112-55.
All applicants must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Any organization that applies for a Community Connect Broadband grant must provide their DUNS number on the SF-424, "Application for Federal Assistance." DUNS numbers are available without charge. See DUNS Q&A.
- Applicants wishing to apply for a Community Connect broadband grant online can do so at www.grants.gov. Your organization must have a DUNS number and complete the SAM registration process before submitting an application online.
For questions about the Community Connect Grant Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call the Broadband Division, Telecommunications Program at (202) 690-4673.