ReConnect offers grants, loan-grant combinations, and low-interest loans for broadband infrastructure to connect rural families, businesses, farms, ranches, schools, libraries, and public safety facilities to modern, high-speed internet. ReConnect funds can be used to construct, improve, and acquire facilities that provide internet services to customers’ premises, with reliable technologies that are suitable for the type of rural community and the type of high-speed internet use.
The Broadband Program 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.
The Rural Business Development Grant program provides funding designed to support targeted technical assistance, training, and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 new employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.
RCDI grants are awarded to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income rural communities and federally recognized tribes support housing, community facilities and community and economic development projects in rural areas.
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, pass through to local businesses (ultimate recipients) for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas. The ultimate recipients repay the lending utility directly. The utility is responsible for repayment to USDA.
The Infrastructure program provides financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas
The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), provides federal funding to states and territories for grants to utilize for high speed Internet deployment, mapping, and adoption projects. Each state, D.C., and P.R. will receive an initial allocation of $100 million—and $100 million will be divided equally among the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. States, territories, D.C., and P.R., may leverage initial planning funds to submit a 5-year action plan, which shall be informed by collaboration with local and regional entities. The remaining funding will be distributed based on a formula that considers the number of unserved and high-cost locations in the state, based on the maps to be published by the FCC in 2022. The program aims to close the access gap for unserved areas (those below 25/3 Mbps), underserved areas (those below 100/20 Mbps), and community anchor institutions (1/1 Gbps).
The Broadband Infrastructure Program is a $288 million broadband deployment program directed to partnerships between a state, or one or more political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service to support broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking broadband, especially rural areas.
The Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) Pilot Program provides grants to eligible HBCUs, TCUs and MSIs in anchor communities for the purchase of broadband Internet access service or any eligible equipment, or to hire and train information technology personnel: (1) to facilitate educational instruction and learning, including through remote instruction; or (2) to operate a minority business enterprise; or (3) to operate a tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Grant funds may be used to: (1) purchase broadband internet access service, including the installation or upgrade of broadband facilities on a one-time, capital improvement, basis to increase or expand broadband capacity and/or connectivity at the eligible institution; (2) purchase or lease of eligible equipment and devices for student or patron use, subject to any restrictions and prohibited uses; and (3) hire and train information technology personnel who are a part of the eligible anchor institution, MBE or Tax-Exempt Organization.
The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), establishes and funds a $1 billion program for the construction, improvement or acquisition of middle mile infrastructure. The purpose of the grant program is to expand and extend middle mile infrastructure, reducing the cost to serve unserved and underserved areas and increasing the resilience of Internet Infrastructure. Eligible applicants include States, political subdivisions of a State, tribal governments, technology companies, electric utilities, utility cooperatives, public utility districts, telecommunications companies, telecommunications cooperatives, nonprofit foundations, nonprofit corporations, nonprofit institutions, nonprofit associations, regional planning councils, Native entities, or economic development authorities.