East Hawaii News

USDA Accepting Broadband Service Grant Applications

January 28, 2015, 9:52 AM HST
* Updated January 28, 9:54 AM
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United States Department of Agriculture State Director Chris Kanazawa announced Wednesday that the USDA is accepting applications for the 2015 Fiscal Year Community Connect Program grants.

Community Connect Program grants provide funds to establish essential broadband services in rural communities where it is not readily available.

“The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens of the State of Hawai’i and the Territory of American Samoa,” Kanazawa said. “This grant can assist rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the internet.”

State, county, city, Native American tribal governments, nonprofits, for profits, and small businesses are all eligible to apply.

Grants awarded begin with a minimum of $100,000 and the maximum for awards is $3,000,000.

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The application deadline is Feb. 17.

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In 2014, the USDA announced new rules to the program so that Community Connect grants could be targeted to areas where they are needed the most.

Funds acquired as grants can be used to construct, acquire, or lease facilities to deploy broadband to community facilities like schools and public safety locations, as well as residences and businesses in the community.

“The Community Connect grant can be made available to bring the benefits of broadband, including new educational, business and public health and safety opportunities, to residents living in some of the remote parts of Hawai’i and American Samoa,” said Area Director Thao Khamoui.

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Additional information about the Community Connect grant can be found at this website.

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