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The deadline for the Community Connect Grant, administered by the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency, draws near. The USDA will continue accepting applications for the grant through Feb. 20, 11:59 a.m. EST. 

These grants provide anywhere from $100,000 to $3 million in support of rural projects in areas that lack internet connectivity with minimum download speeds of 10 megabytes per second. Funding requires a 15 percent non-federal match, and can be used to build, acquire, or lease broadband infrastructure such as spectrum or buildings necessary for building out an improved connection. 

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The money can also be used to subsidize the cost of broadband connectivity, including monthly bills, for critical community facilities for up to two years. Less than 10 percent, or up to $150,000 may be used for the improvement of community facilities that provide internet access to the public, such as libraries or community centers. 

This is the latest funding opportunity following a flood of federal interest and support for broadband infrastructure in unserved areas, which includes many tribal reservations and communities. 

Other opportunities, such as the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program and the Broadband Equity, Deployment, and Access program, have funneled billions of dollars into building out new middle-mile and last-mile infrastructure. 

Tribes can find more information about the application process and start their application here

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