U.S. Department of Agriculture: Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another. The DLT program is specifically designed to assist rural communities in acquiring distance learning and telemedical technologies so that local teachers, and medical service providers who serve rural residents can link to other teachers, medical professionals, and other needed expertise located at distances too far to access otherwise. Rural communities are defined as areas with a population of 20,000 or less.
Grant funds may be used for:
- Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as audio, video and interactive video equipment; terminal and data terminal equipment; computer hardware, network components, and software; inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services
- Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
- Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment
Amount: Grants ranging from $50,000-$500,000 each are available. A match of at least 15% is required.
Eligibility: State and local governmental entities; federally-recognized Tribes; nonprofits; for-profit businesses; and consortia of eligible entities. Applicants must either operate a rural community facility, or deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.
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