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. Offered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development, eligible organizations and entities can receive awards ranging from $50,000 to $1,000,000 to provide education or health care through telecommunications.
This year the grant program has experienced a large increase in available funding. Two different subject areas are available for funding, one area will fund projects involving telemedicine and substance abuse/opioid use counseling, one for distance learning, and finally a third discretionary fund will supplement projects in either area. Grant funds can be used for the acquisition of eligible capital assets including broadband transmission facilities and audio, video, and interactive video equipment, instructional programming that is a capital asset, and the acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment. Grant-only funds are available through a nationally competitive process with a 15% match required. Eligible applicants include most entities that provide education or healthcare services including most state and local governments, federally-recognized tribes, non-profits, for-profit businesses, or a consortia of eligible entities.
The deadline for FY2020 program is April 10th. For more information about the Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program, please visit: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/distance-learning-telemedicine-grants.