On April 17th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $20 million to deliver rural broadband technical assistance resources and support the development and expansion of broadband cooperatives.
The Broadband Technical Assistance Program supports projects such as conducting feasibility studies, completing network designs, and developing financial assistance applications. Funding is also available to help organizations access federal and to conduct data collection and reporting. Applications are due on June 20th, 2023.
Eligible applicants include cooperatives or mutual organizations, federally recognized tribes and tribal entities, nonprofit organizations, state or local governments, institutions of higher education, corporations, or limited liability companies.
Projects must fall within one of three funding categories:
- Projects Supporting Cooperatives: Proposals that support the establishment or growth of broadband cooperatives that will benefit rural communities. Up to $5 million is available. The minimum award is $50,000. The maximum is $1 million.
- Technical Assistance Providers: Proposals to deliver broadband technical assistance that will benefit rural communities. Up to $7.5 million is available. The minimum award is $50,000. The maximum is $1 million.
- Technical Assistance Recipients: Proposals to receive broadband technical assistance. Up to $7.5 million is available. The minimum award is $50,000. The maximum is $250,000.
To learn more about the program, USDA is hosting an information session on May 8th, 2023, from 1-2 PM ET. Click here to register. NCBA CLUSA applauds our partners at USDA for utilizing broadband cooperatives to connect communities in America with high-speed internet.