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USDA's ReConnect Program announces fourth round of funding

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    USDA's ReConnect Program announces fourth round of funding

    On August 6, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the second funding round of the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22). The ReConnect Program, now in its fourth rounding of funding since inception in 2018, offers grants and loans to provide funding for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. The FOA provides a total of $1.15 billion in eligible grant and loan opportunities, made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and counties can apply beginning on September 6, 2022 through November 2, 2022 at 11:59am EST.

    The ReConnect Program offers three types of funding opportunities for broadband deployment in rural areas: loans; grants; and loan/grant combinations. For an area to be eligible for ReConnect Program funds, applicants must submit evidence that at least 50% of the households in the proposed service area lack access to broadband service reliably providing 100 Mbps download / 20 Mbps upload. If a proposed funded service area is receiving or under consideration to receive other Federal funds, it is eligible for ReConnect funding so long as an entity has not received final approval to receive other Federal funding to construct terrestrial facilities providing at least 100/20 Mbps service as of September 6, 2022.

    The funding breakdown for the ReConnect Program is as follows:

    Funding Category

    Award Type

    Amount Made Available

    100 Percent Loan – General

    Loans

    $150 million

    50 Percent Loan / 50 Percent Grant – General

    Loan/Grant Combination

    $300 million

    100 Percent Grant – General

    Grants, 25% matching requirement

    $150 million

    100 Percent Grant – ANCs*, Tribal Governments, Colonias, Persistent Poverty Areas, Socially Vulnerable Communities

    Grants, no matching requirement

    $350 million

    Projects serving areas where 90% of households lack 100 Mbps/ 20 Mbps broadband

    Grants, no matching requirement

    $200 million

    Counties are deeply invested in helping facilitate the deployment of accessible and reliable broadband in rural communities across the country, and are encouraged to apply as partners or providers of rural broadband service under the ReConnect Program. Rural access to high-speed internet will help facilitate economic development, provide equitable access to telehealth and remote work services, and foster innovations in precision agriculture, among other benefits. NACo will continue to closely monitor the ReConnect Program and provide updates for members.

    Counties can now also access the USDA ReConnect Program Network and Financial Model Workbook, which helps interested applicants to validate their network and financial application data prior to the application window opening on September 6, 2022. You can download the workbook now by visiting the ReConnect Forms and Resources page.

    *ANC = Alaska Native Corporation

    On August 6, the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the second funding round of the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) for Fiscal Year 2022.
    2022-08-18
    Blog
    2022-08-30
The latest round of ReConnect will prioritize projects that build broadband networks offering 100 Mbps symmetrical speeds Counties are encouraged to apply for ReConnect in latest cycle offering $1.15 billion in grants, loans and grant/loan combinations

On August 6, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the second funding round of the Rural eConnectivity Program (ReConnect Program) for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22). The ReConnect Program, now in its fourth rounding of funding since inception in 2018, offers grants and loans to provide funding for the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas. The FOA provides a total of $1.15 billion in eligible grant and loan opportunities, made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), and counties can apply beginning on September 6, 2022 through November 2, 2022 at 11:59am EST.

The ReConnect Program offers three types of funding opportunities for broadband deployment in rural areas: loans; grants; and loan/grant combinations. For an area to be eligible for ReConnect Program funds, applicants must submit evidence that at least 50% of the households in the proposed service area lack access to broadband service reliably providing 100 Mbps download / 20 Mbps upload. If a proposed funded service area is receiving or under consideration to receive other Federal funds, it is eligible for ReConnect funding so long as an entity has not received final approval to receive other Federal funding to construct terrestrial facilities providing at least 100/20 Mbps service as of September 6, 2022.

The funding breakdown for the ReConnect Program is as follows:

Funding Category

Award Type

Amount Made Available

100 Percent Loan – General

Loans

$150 million

50 Percent Loan / 50 Percent Grant – General

Loan/Grant Combination

$300 million

100 Percent Grant – General

Grants, 25% matching requirement

$150 million

100 Percent Grant – ANCs*, Tribal Governments, Colonias, Persistent Poverty Areas, Socially Vulnerable Communities

Grants, no matching requirement

$350 million

Projects serving areas where 90% of households lack 100 Mbps/ 20 Mbps broadband

Grants, no matching requirement

$200 million

Counties are deeply invested in helping facilitate the deployment of accessible and reliable broadband in rural communities across the country, and are encouraged to apply as partners or providers of rural broadband service under the ReConnect Program. Rural access to high-speed internet will help facilitate economic development, provide equitable access to telehealth and remote work services, and foster innovations in precision agriculture, among other benefits. NACo will continue to closely monitor the ReConnect Program and provide updates for members.

Counties can now also access the USDA ReConnect Program Network and Financial Model Workbook, which helps interested applicants to validate their network and financial application data prior to the application window opening on September 6, 2022. You can download the workbook now by visiting the ReConnect Forms and Resources page.

*ANC = Alaska Native Corporation

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    <p>Responsible for all matters pertaining to USDA agriculture, rural development programs, rural renewable energy development, research and extension, food safety, and conservation programs.&nbsp;</p>

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