USDA Rural Utilities Service Community Connect Grant Program – Notice of Solicitation of Applications
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year 2012. The Community Connect program provides grants to establish broadband transmission service in rural communities which are currently underserved. Funds may be used to build broadband infrastructure and establish a community center which offers free access to broadband services for community residents for two years.
Access to affordable and reliable broadband connectivity in rural communities improves the ability of rural health care providers to effectively utilize health information technology, achieve the meaningful use of electronic health records (EHR) and receive EHR Incentive payments. Broadband is particularly critical in rural areas, where advanced communications and utilization of health IT can shrink the distances that isolate remote communities.
Eligible entities for the Community Connect Grant program include state and local governments, incorporated organizations, tribal organizations or cooperative, private corporations or limited liability companies organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis. Eligible areas include a single community with a population less than 20,000 which does not have Broadband Transmission Service.
The application deadline is June 18, 2012. Please visit the Community Connect Grant Program website at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov see the attached Notice of Solicitation of Applications for the USDA RUS Community Connect Grant Program for additional information.