Skip to main content

About Funding

Applicants will be limited to one of the following applications for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). To give potential applicants adequate time to access technical assistance from USDA staff and its partners, the first application deadline will be pushed back to May 31, 2019 or later.

100% Grant

Up to $200,000,000 is available for grants. The maximum amount that can be requested in an application is $25,000,000.

The proposed funded service area for this category must be in an area where 100% of the households do not have sufficient broadband access. Applicants must propose to build a network that can provide service to every premise in the proposed funded service area at a speed of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. Applicants must provide a matching contribution equal to 25 percent (%) of the cost of the overall project. The matching contribution can only be used for eligible purposes.

If an applicant chooses to submit an application for the 100% grant funding opportunity and receives an award, the matching contribution must be expended first, followed by grant funds, except for approved pre-application expenses.

50% Loan / 50% Grant

Up to $200,000,000 is available for loan/grant combinations. 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.

The interest rate for the 50% loan component will be set at the Treasury rate for the remaining amortization period at the time of each advance of funds. The proposed funded service area for this category must be in an area where 90% of the households do not have sufficient broadband access. Applicants must propose to build a network that can provide service to every premises in the proposed funded service area at a speed of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. Applicants may propose substituting cash for the loan component at the time of application.

If an applicant chooses the 50% loan / 50% grant funding opportunity and receives an award, all cash provided in lieu of loan funds must be expended first, followed by loan funds, and then by grant funds, except for approved pre-application expenses. Grant funds must be requested as part of the first advance request for the reimbursement of eligible pre-application expenses.

100% Loan

Up to $200,000,000 is available for loans. The maximum amount that can be requested in an application is $50,000,000.

The interest rate for a 100% loan will be set at a fixed 2%. The proposed funded service area for this category must be in an area where 90% of the households do not have sufficient broadband access. Applicants must propose to build a network that can provide service to every premise in the proposed funded service area at a speed of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. Tangible equity to total assets must be at least 20% at the end of the calendar year starting in the third year of the forecast period through the remainder of the forecast period.

❮ MAPPING TOOL EVALUATION CRITERIA ❯