Financial Assistance

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Federal Funding Guide

BroadbandUSA, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's broadband website, has issued a resource on federal funding available for broadband projects. See the BroadbandUSA: Guide to Federal Funding of Broadband Projects publication. 

Community Connect Grants

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the opening of its 2016 Community Connect grant program with total funding of $11.74 million. Grant awards will range from $100,000 up to $3 million with applications due June 17, 2016. More information is available on the RUS website.

Farm Bill Broadband Loans & Loan Guarantees

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened its 2016 Farm Bill Broadband Loan & Loan Guarantee program. Applications are due by July 7, 2016. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the RUS website.

Broadband Grants for Healthcare

The Federal Communications Commission's Healthcare Connect Fund makes grants to healthcare providers. Get the details and learn how to apply.

Reduced Pricing Through Your Provider

If you are a low-income subscriber residing in either a Comcast, CenturyLink, or Midcontinent area, you may be eligible for reduced pricing of monthly broadband service. Learn more about Comcast's program. Learn more about CenturyLink's program. Learn more about Midcontinent's program.

Other Minnesota cable companies (Charter, Mediacom, and Sjoberg’s Cable) offer discounted pricing for broadband access as well under the federal Connect2Compete program. If your location is served by one of these cable companies, you may want to contact them directly to see if you are eligible.

Discounted Computers

Both Comcast and CenturyLink offer discounted pricing on computers. Another option for a low-cost computer is available through the nonprofit PCs for People. Reach them by phone at (651) 354-2552.

If you want to use a computer but do not want to own one or do not have a broadband connection, the Technology Literacy Collaborative lists community technology centers, including libraries, in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. Learn more about computers and how to use them.