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Grants to USA Nonprofits, Businesses, and Agencies to Expand the Use of Telecommunications for Healthcare and Education

Traditional Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program

GrantWatch ID# 157088
Agency: Federal

Funding Source
United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service (RUS)
CFDA Number: 10.855
Funding or PIN Number: RUS-23-01-DLT
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Conference Date: 12/14/22
Deadline: 01/30/23 11:59 PM ET

Grant Description
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, businesses, government agencies, school districts, tribal governments, and IHEs to provide and improve telemedicine services and distance learning in rural communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take up to several weeks to complete.

This competitive program helps rural communities use advanced telecommunications technology to connect to each other - and the world - overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that promote equity and economic opportunity in rural America, specifically those that advance these key priorities:

  • Supporting healthcare needs stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, and helping prepare for future pandemic events
  • Ensuring racial equity
  • Rebuilding our rural economy
  • Addressing the climate crisis

Funds can be used to purchase or support:

  • Audio, video, and interactive video equipment
  • Broadband facilities used for distance learning or telemedicine (up to a certain percentage)
  • Computer hardware, network components, and software
  • Instructional programming
  • Limited technical assistance and instruction on how to use distance learning and telemedicine equipment

The DLT program is targeted to rural areas with populations 20,000 or fewer. 

For more information about eligible grant purposes, see Page 10 of the RFP document listed in Supporting Documents, below.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Criteria for Eligibility
To be eligible for a grant, an organization must:
1. Be legally organized as an incorporated organization, an Indian tribe or tribal organization, as defined in 25 U.S.C. 450b(b) and (c), a state or local unit of government, a consortium, or other legal entity, including a private corporation organized on a forprofit or not-for-profit basis. Each applicant must provide evidence of its legal capacity to contract with the Rural Utilities Service to obtain the grant and comply with all applicable requirements, in accordance with 7 CFR part 1734.4(a).

Consortium: A consortium is a combination or group of entities formed to undertake the purposes for which the distance learning and telemedicine financial assistance is being requested.
• If the applicant is an existing established consortium with the legal ability to contract with the Federal Government, that organization can apply in the name of the formal consortium.
• If the applicant is an informal consortium which by itself lacks the legal capacity to contract with the Federal Government, either one entity must serve as the host organization which will apply on behalf of the consortium and be designated as the project owner with all awardee responsibilities, or each individual entity must contract with RUS in its own behalf.

2. Either operate a rural community facility or deliver distance learning or telemedicine services to entities that operate a rural community facility or to residents of rural areas at rates calculated to ensure that the benefit of the financial assistance is passed through to such entities or to residents of rural areas.

Grant applications that are written by vendors who are mentioned in the application as vendors to be used on the project to be funded by the DLT award are ineligible as a violation of the competition rules in 2 CFR 200.319.

For information about ineligible grant purposes, see Page 11 of the RFP document listed in Supporting Documents below.

Pre-Proposal Conference
FY 23 DLT Program Webinar | Wednesday, December 14, 2022 1:00-3:00 p.m. ET

Zoom Registration:

Pre-Application Information
Grant applications must be submitted through by 11:59 pm ET on January 30, 2023.

Anticipated Award Date: September 30, 2023.

A minimum 15 percent match is required and cannot be from another federal source.

Applicants must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and an active registration that includes the Financial Assistance Representations and Certifications and has current information in the System for Award Management (SAM) at:

Please keep in mind that it can take up to 15 business days to register as a new potential grantee with SAM, then an additional 24 hours for to recognize the SAM information. Applicants should plan accordingly and begin the process well in advance of the application deadline.

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For a list of relevant application documents, see the Package tab (click Preview) on the link listed above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
The minimum Grant amount which can be requested is $50,000. The maximum Grant amount which can be requested is $1,000,000.

Term of Contract
Three-year period, beginning the date funds are released.

Contact Information
To learn more, email, or contact the Telecommunications General Field Representative that services the state in which your proposed project is located. A state-based list is available at this link:

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