USDA grant funds available for rural broadband

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is taking applications for Fiscal Year 2015 Community Connect Program grants, said USDA Rural Development State Director Sarah Adler.

The program provides grants to establish essential broadband services in rural communities where it is currently not available.

“Many rural communities in Nevada do not have access to broadband,” Adler said. “USDA’s Community Connect Grant Program ensures that rural residents have the ability to run businesses, get the most from their education, and benefit from the infinite services that fast, reliable broadband provides.”

States, local units of governments, tribes, resource providers and cooperatives are eligible to apply. Applications are due Feb. 17. For more information about applying for the grants in Nevada, contact State General Field Representative Rocky Chenelle at 530-379-5032.

In Nevada, Community Connect Grants have assisted the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada to develop a computer center, funded a computer center in Gabbs, and assisted the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe with computers for its community center.

Funds can be used to construct or acquire facilities to deploy broadband to all residential and business customers in the proposed funded service area and all participating Critical Community Facilities including funding for up to 10 Computer Access Points in local Community Centers.

Funds can go to improve, construct or acquire a Community Center with provision of Computer Access Points. Grant funds for the Community Center will be limited to 10% of the requested grant amount or $150,000. If a community center is constructed with grant funds, the center must reside on property owned by the awardee.


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