The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) within USDA announced in the May 22, 2014 Federal Register on page 29399 that $19,300,000 in grant funds is available and applications are sought for the “Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program for FY 2014. The maximum amount to be made available to an applicant in FY 2014 is $500,000.
DLT grants provide access to education, training and healthcare resources for rural Americans. The DLT program provides financial assistance to improve telemedicine services and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, and related advanced technologies.
The grants may be used to fund telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies. The technology may be used to extend educational and medical applications into rural areas.
Applicants can include organizations or partnerships, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, state and local government, a consortium, a library or any private corporation organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis.
Also, “Community Connect Grant” Program funds were announced in the May 22, 2014 Federal Register. The program has $13 million for FY 2014 available with a minimum grant amount of $100,000 and a maximum grant amount of $3,000,000 for FY 2014.
The purpose of this grant program is to provide financial assistance to help unserved areas with broadband service. RUS will give priority to rural areas that have the greatest need for broadband services and deploy new broadband services to provide educational and healthcare opportunities in rural areas.
USDA will offer special consideration to Community Connect and DLT applications that contain at least one end-user site within a trust area or a Tribal jurisdictional area.
For more information, go to www.rurdev.usda.gov/utp_commconnect.html. Applications are due July 7, 2014. For further information contact Kenneth Kuchno at 202-690-4673.