Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.
|Recipient||Amount||Start Date||End Date|
|Arctic Slope Telephone Association Cooperative, Inc.||$ 3,000,000||   ||2019-12-23||2021-12-23|
|Pine Cellular Phones, Inc.||$ 2,643,900||   ||2019-12-23||2021-12-23|
|Washoe Tribe Of Nevada & California||$ 137,429||   ||2019-12-23||2021-12-23|
|Pine Telephone Company, Inc.||$ 2,544,250||   ||2019-12-23||2021-12-23|
|Crystal Broadband Networks, Inc.||$ 2,386,350||   ||2019-09-25||2021-09-25|
|Igotechnology, Inc.||$ 3,000,000||   ||2019-09-16||2021-09-16|
|Clearfiber Inc.||$ 1,960,000||   ||2019-09-16||2021-09-16|
|Preston County Economic Development Authority||$ 3,000,000||   ||2019-09-16||2021-09-16|
|Scott County Telephone Co-operative||$ 3,000,000||   ||2019-09-16||2021-09-16|
|Comcell, Inc||$ 2,307,250||   ||2019-09-16||2021-09-16|
Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 2016, grants totaled $15,604,851 and benefited 5 states. Fiscal Year 2017: In FY 2017, the application window closed on June 16, 2017. As of that date RUS received 72 applications which are currently going through the review process. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grants will be made available, on a competitive basis, for the deployment of broadband services to critical community facilities, rural residents, and rural businesses and for the operation of a community center which would provide free access to broadband services to community residents for at least two years.
See 7 CFR Part 1739 for details.
Funds can only be used for purposes specifically authorized in the regulation, per 7 CFR 1739.12.
Funds are authorized for this program in the Appropriations Bill for the Department of Agriculture for each fiscal year.
To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must: (a) be legally organized as an incorporated organization, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, a state or local unit of government, or other legal entity, including cooperatives or private corporations or limited liability companies organized on a for profit or not-for profit basis, and (b) have the legal capacity and authority to own and operate the broadband facilities as proposed in its application, to enter into contracts and to otherwise comply with applicable federal statutes and regulations.
The people living in rural areas and to improve rural opportunities through the availability of access to high speed broadband networks.
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
Aplication and Award Process
Preapplication coordination is required.
An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Submit an application in accordance with 7 CFR 1739 and its accompanying application guide.
Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants receiving the highest number of points.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005; Title III: Rural Development Programs; Rural Utilities Service; Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program; Public Law 108-447.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Applications are approved each fiscal year for which funding is made available.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching Requirements: Percent: 15%. The grant applicant must contribute a matching contribution which is at least 15 percent of the grant amount requested and this must be in cash in an account of the awardee at the time of closing. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Applicants generally have three years to spend funds. Extensions may be granted. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds may be advanced monthly or as needed to reimburse disbursements for approved grant purposes. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds may be advanced monthly or as needed to reimburse disbursements for approved grant purposes.
Post Assistance Requirements
Program reports are not applicable.
Cash reports are not applicable.
Progress reports are not applicable.
The disbursal of funds is made on the basis of invoices for eligible purposes.
To this extent, RUS is aware of all expenditures for which reimbursement is sought.
Projects are also periodically audited by field accounting staff.
Project performance activity reports are required annually.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements, Subpart F, Audit Requirements (Revised, December 26, 2013) nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Subpart F. Entities which do not meet the criteria for applicability in 2 CFR 200 will have an audit prepared in accordance with 7 CFR 1773, Policy on Audits of RUS Borrowers and Grantees.
Grantee will provide evidence that funds are expended for approved purposes. For profit entities owe an audit for any year in which funds are expended. Other entities (state and local governments, non-profits, etc.) are subject only if more than $750,000 is expended.
(Project Grants) FY 16 $15,604,851; FY 17 est $34,500,000; and FY 18 est $20,000,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
The Agency will publish, annually in the Federal Register, a Notice of Funds Availability that sets forth the maximum and minimum funding for each grant. In FY 2016, grants ranged from $481,000 to $3,000,000 and averaged $1,733,872. In FY 2017, grants can range from $500,000 to $3,000,000 and the average will not be known until selections are made.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
7 CFR 1739: Broadband Grant Program, Subpart A - Community Connect Grant Program
Regional or Local Office
Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., STOP 1590, Washington, District of Columbia 20250 Phone: (202) 720-9554.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Morgan Simon, Pi Investments and Transform Finance, explains the concept of impact investment that supports economic and community development. Simon notes that this concept, while gaining attention from varying financial contenders, is an exciting, but potentially problematic trend seen over the last decade.