Veneman Announces Availability Of $9 Million In Broadband Grant Funds

July 30, 2004

“This program helps open the door to today’s high speed, high technology in the most isolated of rural communities,” said Veneman. “In today’s world it is critical to connect basic community services to high speed telecommunications.”

The Broadband Community Connect program is in its third year, having already invested $21.3 million in grant funds to connect essential services of police and fire protection, local government, hospitals, libraries and schools to broadband service. To date, this program has connected 74 communities to high-speed telecommunications. In return, the communities will make at least 10 computers available to the public with set hours and instruction available for use on the internet.

“USDA plays a vital role in President Bush’s Broadband initiative,” said Veneman. “President Bush has challenged us to ‘have universal affordable access available for broadband technology by the year 2007,’ and USDA is doing its share in reaching the most remote communities.”

The notice of funding availability appears in the July 28 Federal Register. All applications must be received by September 13. Submit electronic grant application at and follow the instructions found on the web site. Completed paper applications are to be submitted to the Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 5151, STOP 1590, Washington, DC 20250-1590. Applications should be marked “Attention: Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program,” and postmarked by midnight, September 13.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at