The U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened applications for a pilot program aimed at establishing modern broadband infrastructure for rural communities. USDA said Tuesday it will allot a minimum of $600M for the first round of the ReConnect Rural Broadband Pilot Program. A third of the initial funds will cover grants, while the remaining fraction will be equally split for loan-grant combinations and low-interest loans.
Applications for grants-only packages will run through May 31. Interested parties may also apply up to June 21 for loan-grant combination deals, and up to July 12 for low-interest loans. The department will announce the program’s succeeding waves later in 2019.