USDA’s Utilities Programs for Distance Learning & Telemedicine services in rural areas of US

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USDA’s Utilities Programs for Distance Learning & Telemedicine services in rural areas of US


Deadline: 4-Jun-21

US Department of Agriculture has invited applications for its Utilities Programs to enable and improve distance learning and telemedicine services in rural areas. Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant funds support the use of telecommunications-enabled information, audio and video equipment, and related advanced technologies by students, teachers, medical professionals, and rural residents. These grants are intended to increase rural access to education, training, and health care resources that are otherwise unavailable or limited in scope.

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Distance learning means a real-time, interactive, telecommunications link to an end-user through the use of eligible equipment to provide educational programs, instruction, or information originating in one area, whether rural or not, to students and teachers who are located in rural areas.

Telemedicine means a real-time, interactive, telecommunications link to an end-user through the use of eligible equipment which electronically links medical professionals at separate sites in order to exchange health care information in audio, video, graphic, or other format for the purpose of providing improved health care services primarily to residents of rural areas.

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The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.

Grant Limits

The minimum Grant amount which can be requested is $50,000.
The maximum Grant amount which can be requested is $1,000,000.
How may the funds be used?

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Grant funds may be used for:

Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as:
Broadband facilities
Audio, video and interactive video equipment
Terminal and data terminal equipment
Computer hardware, network components and software
Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services
Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment
What kinds of funding are available?

Grant-only funds, awarded through a nationally competitive process – 15% match required.
Who may apply?

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For both programs, eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or health care through telecommunications, including:

Most State and local governmental entities
Federally-recognized Tribes
Non-profits
For-profit businesses
Consortia of eligible entities
DLT 100% grant applications are accepted through a competitive process.

To be eligible for a grant, an organization must:

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Be legally organized as an incorporated organization, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 5304, a state or local unit of government, a consortium, or other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a for-profit or not-for-profit basis. Each applicant must provide evidence of its legal capacity to contract with the Rural Utilities Service to obtain the grant and comply with all applicable requirements, in accordance with 7 CFR part 1734.4(a).
Either operate a rural community facility or deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.
For more information, visit https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=331151