USDA Rural Development is now accepting the second round of applications for the ReConnect Program through https://www.usda.gov/reconnect.
On January 27, Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced $550 million was made available to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. To assist potential providers with applications, USDA is hosting a workshop in Atlanta on February 19th – 20th: USDA Workshop Information.
Within the USDA ReConnect funding application, projects can be awarded as many as 20 scoring points if their application includes a letter from the Governor's Office that indicates the State’s broadband plan is up-to-date and published, there are no restrictions on non-broadband utilities from providing broadband service in rural areas, and procedures are in place to expedite administrative activities if necessary, for completing rights-of-way and environmental permitting requirements for the project, in order to meet USDA’s project build-out timelines. The Broadband Office with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is offering technical assistance to USDA applicants by providing the following: