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-Oriented Connectivity Broadband Grant Program (Community Connect Grant 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. Priority will be given to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services.

    In FY2020, grant funds may be used to:

    • Deploy Broadband service to community facilities, rural residents, and rural businesses,
    • Construct, acquire, or expand a community center, and
    • Equip a community center that provides free access to service at the Broadband Grant Speed to community residents for at least two years. 

    Funds may be used for: 

    • Construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum and land used to deploy service for:
      • All residential and business customers located within the proposed funded service area.
      • All participating critical community facilities
    • The cost of providing broadband service free of charge to critical community facilities for 2 years;
    • Less than 10% of the grant amount or up to $150,000 may be used for the improvement, expansion, construction or acquisition of a community center that provides online access to the public.

    Eligible projects must propose to fulfill the following requirements 

    • Minimum Broadband Service. RUS uses this measurement to determine whether a proposed funded service area is served or unserved. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, the minimum rate-of-data transmission that qualifies as Minimum Broadband Service is ten megabits per second downstream and one megabit per second upstream for both fixed and mobile broadband service. RUS will determine that Broadband Service does not exist for areas with no broadband access or whose access is less than 10 Mbps downstream plus 1 Mbps upstream. 
    • Minimum Broadband Grant Speed. The minimum bandwidth that an applicant must propose to deliver to every customer in the proposed funded service area. Until otherwise revised in the Federal Register, the minimum rate of-data transmission that qualifies as Minimum Broadband Grant Speed is twenty-five megabits downstream and three megabits upstream for both fixed and mobile service to the customer. 
    • Rural Area. A Rural Area refers to any area, as confirmed by the most recent decennial Census of the United States, which is not located within: (1) A city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or (2) An urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants.
    • Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA). Applicants must define a contiguous geographic area within an eligible Rural Area, in which Broadband Service does not currently exist, and where the applicant proposes to offer service at the Broadband Grant Speed to all residential and business customers. A PFSA must not overlap with Service Areas of current RUS borrowers and grantees. 
    • Critical Community Facilities. Applicants must propose to offer service, free of charge to users, at the Broadband Grant Speed to all Critical Community Facilities located within the Proposed Funded Service Area for at least two years. 
    • Community Center. Applicants must propose to provide a Community Center, within the PFSA, with at least two (2) Computer Access Points and wireless access at the Broadband Grant Speed free of charge to users for at least two years.

    History of Funding

    Up to $30,000,000 was available in FY 2020 for 15 awards. 2018 awardees can be viewed at

    Additional Information

    Other grant requirements include:
    • Buildings constructed with grant funds must be located on property owned by the awardee;
    • Leasing expenses will only be covered through the advance of funds period included in the award documents;
    • Grantees must have legal authority to provide, construct, operate and maintain the proposed facilities or services;
    • Partnerships with other federal, state, local, private and non-profit entities are encouraged.


    Scott Steiner

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

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are (1) Incorporated organizations; (2) Indian tribes of tribal organizations; (3) States; (4) Local units of government; or (5) Cooperatives, private corporations, or limited liability companies organized on a for profit or not for profit basis. NOTE: Only those rural areas that lack any existing broadband speed of at least 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream are eligible.

    Deadline Details

    Applications were to be submitted by April 15, 2019. A summer 2020 deadline is anticipated for the next cycle of funding. 

    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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