Evaluation Criteria Datasets
These datasets are referenced in the scoring of applications requesting grant funds as part of the funding type request. The evaluation criteria datasets defined below will remain unchanged for the duration of the Fiscal Year 2022 application window.
- Economic Need of the Community (SAIPE) (ZIP, 14.2 KB): This dataset contains the results of the U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program poverty estimates for all counties with a poverty percentage of 20 percent or higher. This program provides annual estimates of income and poverty statistics for all school districts, counties, and states for the administration of federal programs and the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions. The SAIPE program produces the following county and state estimates:
- total number of people in poverty
- number of children under age 5 in poverty (for states only)
- number of related children ages 5 to 17 in families in poverty
- number of children under age 18 in poverty
- median household income
- Rurality – 100 Miles from Urbanized Areas (ZIP, 644 KB): This shapefile contains a multipart feature of all 2010 Census urbanized areas surrounded by a 100-mile buffer. Urbanized areas are areas of 50,000 or more people after removing military base and prison populations. Additional information about the Census Bureau’s urban-rural classification is available on the US Census website.
- Socially Vulnerable Communities (ZIP, 12.7 MB): This dataset contains Census Tracts with a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), overall ranking of 0.75 or higher. The SVI determines the degree to which a given community may be unable to prevent human suffering and financial loss in the event of a disaster. The SVI ranks the Census Tracts on 15 social factors:
- Socioeconomic Status
- Below Poverty
- No High School Diploma
- Household Composition & Disability
- Aged 65 or Older
- Aged 17 or Younger
- Civilian with a Disability
- Single-Parent Households
- Minority Status & Language
- Aged 5 or Older who Speaks English “Less than Well”
- Housing Type & Transportation
- Multi-Unit Structures
- Mobile Homes
- No Vehicle
- Group Quarters
- Socioeconomic Status
- Tribal Area in Alaska (Census) (ZIP, 1.2 MB): This dataset represents Alaska Native village statistical areas (ANVSAs).
Evaluation Criteria and Service Area Eligibility Criteria Datasets
These datasets are referenced in the scoring of applications and for outlining where service area eligibility may be limited for some applications.
- Tribal Area (BIA LAR) (ZIP, 4.4 MB): This dataset consists of the geospatial representation of American Indian land areas for federally recognized tribes as determined by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
- Tribal Supplemental Area (BIA LAR) (ZIP, 153 KB): This dataset is a supplemental dataset compiled from The American Indian Reservations / Federally Recognized Tribal Entities dataset which depicts feature location, selected demographics and other associated data for the 561 Federally Recognized Tribal entities in the contiguous U.S. and Alaska. The data represented in this source features American Indian Reservations (AIR), Federally Recognized Tribal Entities (FRTE) and Alaska Native Villages (ANV).
- Tribal Statistical Area (BIA) (ZIP, 1.1 MB): This dataset consists of trust, restricted, and mixed ownership land area used for the collection, tabulation, and presentation of decennial census data for the 36 Federally recognized American Indian tribes located in the state of Oklahoma.
Service Area Eligibility Criteria Datasets
These datasets outline geographic areas where the service area eligibility may be limited for some applications. See below for more information.
- FAR Level 4 (ZIP, 51.9 MB): This dataset contains Frontier and Remote Areas that are:
- 15 minutes or more from an urban area of 2,500-9,999 people
- 30 minutes or more from an urban area of 10,000-24,999 people
- 45 minutes or more from an urban area of 25,000-49,999 people
- 60 minutes or more from an urban area of 50,000 or more people.
- Non-Rural Areas (ZIP, 41.1 MB): This dataset contains a subset of the 2010 Census Places data and a subset of the Urbanized Area/Urban Cluster 2010 Census data. Both subsets were filtered to include: (1) a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; and (2) an urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants after removing military base and prison populations. The resulting two subsets were merged to create the non-rural areas layer.
- Pending Applications (ZIP, 500 KB): This dataset includes all Community Connect, Farm Bill Broadband, Telecommunications Infrastructure, and ReConnect Program loan, loan/grant combination, and grant applications that have been submitted to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for consideration. The layer will be updated when the status of an application changes. Approved applications will remain protected under the Protected Broadband Borrower Service Areas layer. For applications that are no longer considered by RUS, the applicant’s Proposed Funded Service Area will no longer appear as part of this layer. The current dataset is dated September 7, 2022.
- Protected Broadband Borrower Service Areas (ZIP, 15 MB): This dataset includes the service areas of entities that received a Telecommunications Infrastructure loan, Farm Bill Broadband loan, Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) award, or ReConnect Program grant, loan, or combination award during or after Fiscal Year (FY) 2000. This dataset also includes Community Connect projects that are still under construction. Service areas of projects that were approved but were subsequently de-obligated are not protected and have been omitted from this layer. With the exception of RUS projects still under construction, the service areas of existing RUS broadband borrowers and grant recipients without sufficient access to broadband, as defined in the FY2022 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), are eligible for ReConnect funding. The current dataset is dated September 7, 2022.
- Colonia Areas (ZIP, 78 KB): This dataset consists of unincorporated low-income communities lacking infrastructure in the state of Arizona, California, New Mexico, or Texas within 150 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. These communities were in existence and generally recognized as a “colonia” prior to 1990.
- Persistent Poverty Counties (ZIP, 12 MB): USDA Rural Development ERS Persistent Poverty Counties includes 1990, 2000, and 2007-11, 5 Year American Community Survey datasets from the US Census Bureau. They are measuring poverty based on the wording of the H.R.1865.FY2020 Appropriations document. The definition may be found in the section: H.R.1865—118 SEC. 740. The 1980 Decennial Census is omitted from this dataset.
- Alaska Native Regional Corporations (ZIP, 749 KB): This dataset includes the twelve legally defined boundaries of Alaskan regions created pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) enacted in 1971 as a ‘‘Regional Corporation’’ and organized under the laws of the State of Alaska to conduct both the for-profit and nonprofit affairs of Alaska Natives within a defined region of Alaska.
- Alaska Native Village Corporations (ZIP, 9.5 KB): This dataset represents the more densely settled portion of Alaska Native villages (ANVs). The ANVs constitute associations, bands, clans, communities, groups, tribes, or villages recognized pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-203). Because ANVs do not always have clear, legally defined boundaries or boundaries that include most of the population and housing associated with the ANV, the Census Bureau does not delimit ANVs. Instead, the Census Bureau presents statistical data for ANVSAs that represent the settled portion of ANVs. In addition, each ANVSA should include only an area where Alaska Natives, especially members of the defining ANV, represent a substantial proportion of the population during at least one season of the year.
- FY22 Congressionally Directed Spending (ZIP, 731 KB): The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 identified a number of entities that are eligible to receive funding through the Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) ReConnect Program as part of Community Project Funding/Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS). This dataset represents the Proposed Funded Service Areas of the entities that received this funding. The current dataset is dated September 23, 2022.
- RDOF-Ready to Authorize: This layer consists of a subset of census blocks of winning bidders that are Ready to Authorize (RTA) as of August 31, 2022, as part of the Federal Communications Commission’s Auction 904: Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. Only census blocks that will be offered terrestrial broadband at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 20 Mbps upstream are included in this dataset. More information on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund can be found on the FCC Auction 904 website.
An updated RTA dataset will be made available just before the application window opens and include additional census blocks that are RTA between July 27th and September 6, 2022.
Please note: RUS began requiring the submission of geospatial information that captured broadband borrower and grant recipient service areas beginning in FY2009. However, this mapping layer may not include all RUS broadband borrower service areas that are eligible to receive protection under the ReConnect Program. Additionally, not all service areas included under the most recently updated Protected Broadband Borrower Service Areas Layer are providing sufficient access to broadband, as defined in the ReConnect FOA; therefore, RUS will conduct a final evaluation of service area eligibility during application review.