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Funding Categories

For all funding categories, the proposed funded service area must be in an area where 90% of households do not have sufficient access to broadband. Applicants must propose to build a network capable of providing 100 megabits per second (Mbps) symmetrical service to all premises in the proposed funded service area at the same time.

Applicants may request funding from one of the following categories.

100% Grant

Up to $350,000,000 is available for grants. The maximum amount that can be requested in an application is $25,000,000. However, to encourage broadband deployment in remote areas, if an applicant provides supporting information that demonstrates that the PFSA(s) is comprised 100 percent of areas classified by the USDA Economic Research Service as Frontier and Remote Area (FAR) Level 4, the applicant may request up to $35,000,000. A GIS layer of FAR Level 4 areas can be found in the ReConnect Program Service Area Map. The minimum amount that can be requested in an application is $100,000.

Applicants must provide a matching contribution equal to at least 25 percent of the cost of the overall project. The applicant must clearly identify the source of the funds even if it is to be provided from the applicant’s operating accounts. All matching funds must be deposited into the applicant’s operating accounts at the closing of the award. If the matching funds are provided by a third party, a commitment letter from the third party must be submitted indicating that the funds will be available at the closing of the award if approved. The matching contribution can only be used for eligible purposes.

If an applicant receives a 100% grant award, the matching contributions must be expended first, followed by grant funds, except for approved pre-application expenses.

100% Grant for Tribal Governments and Socially Vulnerable Communities

Up to $350,000,000 is available for grants. The maximum amount that can be requested in an application is $25,000,000. However, to encourage broadband deployment in remote areas, if an applicant provides supporting information that demonstrates that the PFSA(s) is comprised 100 percent of areas classified by the USDA Economic Research Service as FAR Level 4, the applicant may request up to $35,000,000. A GIS layer of FAR Level 4 areas can be found in the ReConnect Program Service Area Map. The minimum amount that can be requested in an application is $100,000.

If the applicant is a Tribal Government, or a corporation that is wholly owned by a Tribal Government, proposing to provide service on its own lands, there is no matching fund requirement and applicants may apply for grant funds to construct the broadband facilities. In addition, if at least 75 percent of the geographic area of an applicant’s PFSA(s) consists of Socially Vulnerable Communities, as defined in section A.3.iii. of the FOA, there is no matching fund requirement and applicants may apply for grant funds to construct the broadband facilities.

50% Loan / 50% Grant

Up to $250,000,000 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 must be equal. The minimum amount that can be requested in an application is $100,000.

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. Applicants may propose substituting cash for the loan component at the time of application.

If an applicant receives a 50% loan / 50% grant award, all cash provided in lieu of loan funds must be expended first, followed by loan funds, and then by grants funds, except for approved application expenses. Grant funds must be requested as part of the first advance request for 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 minimum amount that can be requested in an application is $100,000.

The interest rate for a 100% loan will be set at a fixed 2%.

❮ SERVICE AREA MAP EVALUATION CRITERIA ❯