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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency & Department of Agriculture: Cool & Connected

Deadline: November 6, 2016

Cool & Connected is a a planning assistance program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Sustainable Communities, and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The program helps rural communities use broadband service to revitalize small-town main streets.

Through Cool & Connected, a team of experts will help community members develop strategies and an action plan for using broadband service to promote smart, sustainable community development. Communities can combine broadband service with other local assets such as cultural and recreational amenities to attract investment and people, including young people, and diversify local economies.
Such efforts typically require planning among community leaders, businesses, and internet service providers. The program will help communities take advantage of broadband service to create walkable, connected, economically successful main streets and small-town neighborhoods.

Amount: Planning assistance will be provided. Grants are not awarded.


  • Any community representative is welcome to submit an application to participate in Cool & Connected
  • Special consideration will be given to small towns and rural communities that face economic challenges
  • Special consideration will be given to communities in places where USDA has provided loans or grants in support of broadband services
  • Communities should have existing or anticipated broadband service that can be leveraged for community development

Link: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/cool-connected

Note: A webinar that provides information on applying for this program will be held on October 20, 2016.

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