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Information Contact

Program details may change over time. Before you begin an application, please confirm that you have the most up-to-date program information by contacting the General Field Representative who serves your area.


Counties Municipalities Indian Tribes and Pueblos Other Local Governmental Units Non-profit 501(c)3 Private Business School Districts State Agencies

Type of Aid

Grant Direct Loan Loan Guarantee

Program Purpose

This grant program helps rural communities acquire the technology and training necessary to connect educational and medical professionals with the teachers and medical providers who serve rural residents at the local level.

Deadline to Apply

See the latest publication in the Federal Register.

Eligibility Description

State and local governmental entities

: Federally recognized Tribes

: Nonprofit organizations

: For-profit businesses

: Consortia of eligible entities

Special Conditions

This grant program is intended to benefit rural areas, which have populations of 20,000 or less. However, if the project proposes to serve end users located in more urbanized areas, then the Agency will evaluate the application based on its analysis of the project’s benefit to the rural areas.

Applicants must provide matching contributions of at least 15 percent of the total amount of financial assistance requested.

Funding Availability

Funding Potential for Award–Funding availability is pending the congressional budget of FY 2017.

Range of Awards–The minimum grant amount is $50,000 and the maximum grant amount is $500,000.

Funding Cycle – Duration–The grantee has three (3) years to expend the award funds.

Source of Funds–This program is federally funded.

Application Process

Deadline–The application deadline will be announced in the forthcoming NOSA.

How to Apply–Submit completed paper or electronic applications to the RUS Telecommunications Program. If paper submission, mail the application package to: Telecommunications Program, RUS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 2844, STOP 1597, Washington, DC 20250-1597. Applications should be marked, “Attention: Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval.” If electronic submission, submit through the Federal government’s Grants.gov initiative at http://www.grants.gov/.

Selection Criteria & Decision Authority–Grants applications are scored competitively. See the NOSA, 7 CFR 1703.126, and the FY 2017 Application Guide for more information on the scoring criteria.


7 U.S.C. 901 et seq. and 950aaa et seq.; 7 CFR 1703, Subparts D through G

Related Programs

Community Connect Grant Program, administered by the USDA Rural Utilities Service: Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program, administered by the USDA Rural Development State Offices : Rural Business Development Grants, administered by the USDA Rural Development State Offices

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does this program offer special consideration to applications:

Yes, RUS will offer special consideration to applications that contain at least one end-user site within a trust area or a tribal jurisdictional area, a “Strike Force” area or a “Promise Zone.”

For those applications that propose end-user sites in a trust area or a tribal jurisdictional area, the applicant will also need to submit evidence indicating that the area where the end-user site is located is a trust area or a tribal jurisdictional area.

For more information on Strike Force Areas, go to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome: navid