(Officers Only) Call:

Grants: USDA Broadband Community Connect

March 23, 2023

The Department of Agriculture has released the FY 2023 solicitation for the Community Connect Grant Program.

Community Connect Grant Program

The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide service at or above the broadband grant speed to all premises in rural, economically challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. The deployment of broadband services on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis stimulates economic development and provides enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas. This program focuses on:

  • Assisting rural communities to recover economically through more and better market opportunities and through improved infrastructure.
  • Ensuring all rural residents have equitable access to RD programs and benefits from RD funded projects.
  • Reducing climate pollution and increasing resilience to the impacts of climate change through economic support to rural communities.

Funds may be used for:

  • The construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for:
  • All residential and business customers located within the Proposed Funded Service Area
  • All participating essential community facilities (such as public schools, fire stations, public libraries, and public safety stations)
  • The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to the essential community facilities for 2 years
  • Up to 10 percent of the grant may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction, or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public

Eligible applicants are incorporated organizations; Indian tribes or tribal organizations; state and local governments; and any other legal entity, including a cooperative, private corporation, or limited liability company organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.

Funding: In FY 2023, approximately $79 million is expected to be available to support an unspecified number of awards ranging from $100,000 - $5 million through this program. Applicants must provide a match of 15 percent of the requested grant amount. The match must be in cash and can be used to fund operations or facilities of the project.

Applications are due by June 20, 2023.

Contact Information: For questions about the Community Connect Grant Program, contact one of the General Field Representatives(GFR) in your state. To find a GFR, visit the GFR contact map.