Up to $350 million in funding Available to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America.
The ReConnect Loan and Grant Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. The application window is now OPEN.
In facilitating the expansion of broadband services and infrastructure, the program will fuel long-term rural economic development and opportunities in rural America.
The entities considered eligible to apply for assistance under the ReConnect Program include:
- Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships
- Cooperatives or mutual organizations
- States or local governments, including any agency, subdivision, instrumentality of political subdivision thereof
- A territory or possession of the United States
- An Indian Tribe, as defined in Section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. §450b)
- To fund the construction or improvement of facilities required to provide fixed terrestrial broadband service.
Eligible facilities include buildings, land, and fixed wireless service. If other services will be provided over these facilities, then award funds may also be used to acquire the additional equipment. For example, awards funds may be used to purchase equipment that is required to comply with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, 47 U.S.C §1001 et seq (CALEA).
- To fund reasonable pre-application expenses.
Funding for pre-application expenses may not exceed five percent of the award. Pre-application expenses must be included in the first request for advance of award funds and will be funded with either grant or loan funds. If the funding category applied for has a grant component, then grant funds will be used for this purpose. If pre-application expenses are not included in the first request for advance of award funds, they will become an ineligible expense. Costs associated with satisfying the environmental review requirements are eligible for reimbursement under this category. Up to 3% of the total award can be used to cover costs associated with satisfying the environmental review requirements. The environmental review costs count as part of the overall 5% allowable for pre-application expenses.
- To fund the acquisition of an existing system that does not currently provide sufficient access to broadband (eligible for 100 percent loan requests only).
The cost of the existing system acquisition is limited to 40 percent of the award amount requested. After improvements are made, the upgraded system must meet the minimum requirements of the most recent FOA.
Award amounts under the FOA will be limited as follows:
- 100 Percent Grant
Up to $150,000,000 is available for grants. The maximum amount of grant funds that can be requested in an application is $25,000,000.
- 100 Percent Grant for Alaska Native Corporations, Tribal Governments, Colonias, Persistent Poverty Areas and Socially Vulnerable Communities
Up to $350,000,000 is available for grants. The maximum amount of grant funds that can be requested in an application is $25,000,000.
- 50 Percent Loan / 50 Percent Grant Combination
Up to $150,000,000 is available for loans and up to $150,000 is available for grants. The maximum amount that can be requested in an application is $25,000,000 for the loan and $25,000,000 for the grant. Loan and grant amounts will always be equal.
- 100 Percent Loan
Up to $150,000,000 is available for loans. The maximum amount that can be requested in an application is $50,000,000.
November 2nd, 2022.