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USDA Rural Utilities Service: Telecommunications

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Loans for Telecomm Services

Farm Bill Broadband Program

This program is designed to provide loans for funding, on a technology neutral basis, for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide broadband service to eligible rural communities.

Recovery Act Broadband Initiatives Program

Electric Hardship Loans provide financing to upgrade, expand, maintain, and replace rural electric distribution, subtransmission and headquarters (service & warehouse) facilities to serve customers in rural areas.

Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program

The Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program makes Long-term direct and guaranteed loans to qualified organizations to finance the improvement, expansion, construction, acquisition, and operation of telephone lines, facilities, or systems to furnish and improve Telecommunications service in rural areas. All facilities financed must be capable of supporting broadband services. "Rural area" is defined as any area of the United States, its territories and insular possessions (including any areas within the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau) not included within the boundaries of any incorporated or unincorporated city, village, or borough having a population exceeding 5,000 inhabitants. The population figure is obtained from the Bureau of Census.

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Grants for Telecomm Services

Community Connect Grant Program

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. The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet.

Delta Health Care Services Grant Program

The Delta Health Care Services Grant Program is authorized under Section 379G of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to provide financial assistance to address the continued unmet health needs in the Delta region through cooperation among health care professionals, institutions of higher education, research institutions, and other individuals and entities in the Delta Region. Grants will be awarded to eligible entities in the Delta region serving communities of no more than 50,000 inhabitants to help to address the long standing and unmet health needs of the region.

Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program (d l t) is designed specifically to meet the educational and health care needs of rural America. Through loans, grants and loan/grant combinations, advanced telecommunications technologies provide enhanced learning and health care opportunities for rural residents.

Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program

Public Television Digital Transition grants assist Public Television Stations serving substantial rural populations in transitioning to digital broadcast television transmission. Funds may be used to acquire and install facilities and software necessary for the transition. Grant funds may also be used for associated engineering and environmental studies.

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