Ag News

Funding opportunities available for rural broadband

USDA Rural Development is accepting applications for funding opportunities in support of rural broadband projects.

Under the Community Connect Grants program, which can be reviewed at, USDA offers broadband support. Funds may include the construction, acquisition, or leasing of facilities, spectrum, land or buildings used to deploy broadband service for residential and business customers or critical community. Please review the Community Connect Fact Sheet at  For more information contact The application deadline is April 15.

Through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, financing is available for technology to improve access to healthcare and educational services. Grants can be used to finance telecommunication equipment, computer networks, and advanced technologies to support job training, academic instruction, or access to specialized medical care in rural areas. There are two funding opportunities under DLT: The Traditional DLT program with an application deadline of May 15, and the Opioid DLT program with an application deadline of April 15. For more information visit

The ReConnect Program offers funding for telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities. The program is intended to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. Specific requirements apply. The application deadline varies but will not be earlier than May 31. For more information visit

For information about USDA Rural Development telecom programs, visit or contact Chad Parker, assistant administrator, Telecom Program, at 202-720-9556.

Eligible applicants include for-profit and non-profit entities, tribes, municipalities and cooperatives. USDA particularly encourages investments in tribal and economically disadvantaged areas.

Once funds are awarded, Rural Development monitors the projects to make sure they are completed, meet all program requirements and are making efficient use of Federal resources.

Each program has different applicant and project eligibility requirements and program objectives.

In Georgia, the General Field Representative for these programs is Andrew E, Hayes ( or 770-312-7073.

In addition to the USDA Rural Development programs, the Universal Service Administrative Company’s Rural Health Care Telecommunications Program offers assistance to healthcare providers for eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity based on the urban-rural price difference in an area. Application deadline is May 31. For more information, visit