USDA broadband grant applications sought

Nebraska City News-Press

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand has announced that USDA is accepting applications to provide broadband service in unserved rural areas.

USDA is making grants available under the Community Connect Grant program for Fiscal Year 2021. The program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband service in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. Grant recipients must provide broadband speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 3 Mbps upstream to all premises in the proposed service area.

USDA will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on requirements that can be found at 7 CFR part 1739.

Applicants are encouraged to review the FY 2021 application guide and sample material online. Electronic submissions must be received no later than Dec. 23, 2020, at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time (EST) to be eligible for funding under this grant opportunity.

USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB) to help improve life in rural America.

Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:

Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America

Developing the Rural Economy

Harnessing Technological Innovation

Supporting a Rural Workforce

Improving Quality of Life For additional information, visit