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Update to USDA Community Connect Grant Program FY 2023: Deadline Extended to 02/20/24 – ALL applications must be resubmitted. Read Update Note for more information; Webinar on 01/11.

Opportunity Title:

Community Connect Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2023


Funder/Agency:

Rural Utilities Service (RUS)

Dept of Agriculture


Opportunity Number:

RDRUS-CC-2023


Description:

The Community Connect Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide service at or above the Broadband Grant Speed to all premises in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. The deployment of broadband services on a “community-oriented connectivity” basis stimulates economic development and provides enhanced educational and health care opportunities in rural areas. RUS will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on the criteria contained herein.


The Agency encourages applications that will 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


Update Note:

On December 19, 2023, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a correction notice in the Federal Register. The correction notice makes important changes to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Community Connect Program for Fiscal Year 2023, originally published on March 20, 2023:

  • Extends the Community Connect Program application window until February 20, 2024.

  • Revises the definition of an eligible Proposed Funded Service Area (PFSA) under the Community Connect Program to ensure the program is administered in compliance with the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill). Under the revised definition, a PFSA must lack access to broadband service of 10 Megabits per second (Mbps) downstream plus 1 Mbps upstream to be eligible for consideration for Community Connect Program funding.


Any applicant that applied for the Community Connect Program under the March 20, 2023, NOFO must resubmit their application in order to be considered for funding. RUS recognizes that this requirement may result in delays and additional work for FY 2023 applicants. In an effort to minimize the amount of time required to resubmit an application from the FY 2023 funding window, applicants with previously submitted applications will have access to the submitted application data and will have the opportunity to make any edits before resubmitting the application. It is strongly encouraged that applicants review the new eligibility information to ensure that the previously submitted application is still eligible. The extended application window will also be open to new applicants that meet Community Connect Program eligibility requirements.


A webinar on January 11 will provide information about the recently published correction notice for the Community Connect Program and help prepare applicants to apply under the amended Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).


This webinar will include:

  •  A brief overview of the Community Connect Program 

  • An overview of the Community Connect Program correction notice 

  • Ket considerations for applying or re-applying  

  •  A walkthrough of the application process 

  •  Next steps and important dates 

  •  An opportunity to ask questions about the program 


Webinar Info:

Thursday, January 11, 2024 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Register Here


Eligibility:

  • City or township governments

  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

  • State governments

  • Special district governments

  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)

  • County governments

  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)

  • For profit organizations other than small businesses

  • Small businesses


Award Details:

Total Amount Available:

$79,000,000


Maximum Award:

$5,000,000


Minimum Award:

$100,000


Deadline:

February 20, 2024



Grant Management Associates has years of experience with opportunities like this one. Contact us today for a consultation.

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