5 USDA funding/financing opportunities for rural communities

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Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

ReConnect Program

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its general policy and application procedures for funding under the broadband pilot program established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 which provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. In facilitating the expansion of broadband services and infrastructure, the pilot will fuel long-term rural economic development and opportunities in rural America. One of those opportunities is precision agriculture. The use of this technology requires a robust broadband connection. The awards made under this program will bring high speed broadband to the farms which will allow them to increase productivity.

Please note that the application process is designed so that an applicant must demonstrate financial and technical feasibility of the project and the entire operation of the applicant. Please note there are three funding categories with each category having different application windows. Please refer to the specific funding category for the appropriate application deadline.

For more information visit: https://reconnect.usda.gov


Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Guarantees

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Guarantees provides financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas.

For more information visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/telecommunications-infrastructure-loans-loan-guarantees


Community Connect Grants

Community Connect Grants help rural communities extend access where broadband service is least likely to be commercially available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for people and businesses. The projects funded by these grants help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet for jobs, education, healthcare, public safety and community development.

For more information visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-connect-grants


Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of modern telecommunications and the Internet for education and health care, two of the keys to economic and community development.

For more information visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants


Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee

Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee furnishes loans and loan guarantees to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide service at the broadband lending speed in eligible rural areas.

For more information visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-bill-broadband-loans-loan-guarantees