Grants and loans to USA and territories state and local government agencies, Tribes, nonprofit organizations, for-profits, and IHEs to expand broadband access in rural areas. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to finalize. Funding may be used for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service. Applicants may request grants, loans, or a combination of both.
To be eligible to receive ReConnect Program funds, a proposed project must meet the following criteria:Lack Sufficient Access to Broadband: At least 90% of households in the proposed funded service area (PFSA) must lack sufficient access to broadband service, as defined in the latest Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).
The FOA published on October 25, 2021 defines sufficient access to broadband as at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 20 Mbps upstream.Serve All Premises in the PFSA: The proposed network must be capable of providing broadband service to every premises located in the PFSA at the time of application submission at the speed defined in the latest FOA.The speed defined in the latest FOA is 100 Mbps symmetrical service to every premise in the proposed funded service area (PFSA). Please note that “capable of delivering 100 Mbps symmetrical service to every premises” means that all premises in the PFSA must be able to receive this service at the same time.Be in a Rural Area: A rural area is any area that is not located in a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants or an urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants.The Agency encourages applicants to consider projects that will advance the following key priorities:Assisting Rural communities recover economically from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly disadvantaged communities.Ensuring all rural residents have equitable access to Rural Development programs and benefits from Rural Development funded projects.Reducing climate pollution and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.In addition, the Agency would like to highlight the importance of creating good-paying jobs with strong labor standards.

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