Grant Details

Community Connect Grant Program

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    A - Primarily intended to fund technology


    Rural Development


    The Community Connect Grant Program (Community Connect Program) is designed to provide financial assistance to provide service at the Broadband Grant Speed in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not currently exist. Grant funds may be used to: (1) deploy service at the Broadband Grant Speed to essential community facilities, rural residents, and rural businesses, (2) construct, acquire, or expand a community center, and (3) equip a community center that provides free access to service at the Broadband Grant Speed to community residents for at least two years. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis for entities to serve all premises in eligible rural areas at the Broadband Grant Speed to ensure rural consumers enjoy the same quality and range of broadband services as are available in urban and suburban communities.


    History of Funding

    Up to $30,000,000 was available in FY 2020 for 15 awards. 2019 awardees can be viewed at

    Additional Information

    Important Updates for 2021:

    The definition for Broadband Service has been changed in the regulation and FOA to exclude mobile service. Eligible areas must lack access to 10 Mbps/ 1 Mbps (down/upload), but this no longer considers mobile service, regardless of speed.

    Applications must undergo a Public Notice process where the service areas of each application will be posted to allow potential service providers within the area applied for to challenge eligibility of the project. Those providers will have 45 days from the date the notice is published to file their responses. Any response filed will be subject to validation by RUS staff.

    Projects funded under the Community Connect Grant Program are now subject to a Buy American requirement. See 7 CFR 1787 for the specific requirements which apply to the Community Connect Grant Program.

    The FOA requires that grants funds be used to fund at least 2, but not more than 10 computer access points. Previously, matching funds could be used for this purpose. Under the FY 2021 program, grant funds MUST be used to purchase these computers.

    Multiple applications may be submitted, but in such a case, only the highest scoring of those applications may be awarded. The application requirements are therefore updated to remove pro-forma projections that account for the receipt of multiple awards and the ability to provide matching funds to support multiple awards.

    Substantially Underserved Trust Areas provisions apply to projects located within trust land. If the Administrator determines that a community in trust land (as defined in section 3765 of title 38, United States Code) has a high need for the benefits of the Infrastructure Program, he/she may designate the community as a substantially underserved trust area (SUTA), as defined in section 306F of the RE Act. To receive SUTA consideration, the applicant must attach all of the information requested in 7 CFR 1700, Subpart D to the application. If the application as submitted is dependent on the application of a SUTA provision to be eligible, the applicant understands it is applying at its own risk and the application may be rejected as ineligible if the SUTA consideration is not approved.

    Additional reporting requirements will apply to any awarded project. Annual reporting will be made through a new RUS reporting system, and awardees will be required to report annually until 3 years after project completion.


    Scott Steiner

    Scott Steiner
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20250-1550
    (202) 720-0800

    Community Connect Help Desk

    Community Connect Help Desk


  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants include:

    • Incorporated organizations
    • Federally-recognized Tribes
    • State and local units of government
    • Any other legal entity, including cooperatives, private corporations, or limited liability companies organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis

    Rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream are eligible.

    Deadline Details

    Applications were due December 23, 2020. The next application window is expected to open in late Fall 2022. 

    Award Details

    Award amounts vary. Individual awards range from $100,000 to $3,000,000 each. Cost sharing/matching of 15% is required.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Top 10 Local Grant Programs You Won't Want to Miss in 2015 - Sponsored by Sprint - Playback Available
    • Funding IT Security in Government and Education - Sponsored by VMware - Playback Available
    • Funding Technology-Fueled Innovation in State and Local Government - Sponsored by NetApp and Avnet Technology Solutions - Playback Available


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