The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will make $1.15 billion in grants and loans available through a third round of its Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect). This third round of funding will consider areas where 90% of the households lack access to fixed broadband services with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps. You’ll likely have eligible areas for Round 3 even if you didn’t during Round 2 due to this eligibility change. The program requires awardees to provide services with speeds of 100/100 Mbps to all premises in the proposed geographic area(s). The application window opens on November 24, 2021. The deadline for all applications is February 22, 2022.
Sign up for our free webinar on Thursday, November 11 at 2 p.m. EST. Our experts, who have shepherded many companies through the process in Rounds 1 and 2, will share important information and strategies.
The first two rounds of ReConnect in 2019 and 2020 were very competitive, with RUS awarding grants and loans only to about 50% of those who applied. JSI’s clients fared much better during those first two rounds of competition. In Round 1, more than 60% of the companies that worked with JSI on their applications won. During Round 2, an amazing 93% of our ReConnect clients were awarded grants and loans.
Our team has proven that they know the program’s intricacies and the key application elements that mean the difference between an okay submission and a top-notch, winning application. We are ready to help your company with all aspects of the ReConnect Round 3 competition, including:
- Mapping of potential funding areas, including maps showing you the number of possible locations, competitors’ speed coverage in the area, and existing funding mechanisms for the area (grants/loans, RDOF funding, RUS borrowers, etc.);
- Financial analysis and preparation of the required financials;
- Broadband network assessment and planning, including preparing an accurate network construction budget;
- Competitive analysis of potential areas; and
- Shepherding you through the full application process.
If you’d like assistance with your ReConnect Round 3 application, contact us soon so we can get started. You can reach out to Valerie Wimer at 301-459-7590, Lans Chase at 770-569-2105, or Amanda Molina at 321-985-5709.
The federal program awards loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to help broadband providers build out to unserved and underserved areas of rural America. And unlike the recent RDOF reverse auction, ReConnect funds network construction based on the budget the applying companies provide.
Applications must include very detailed financial and technical information to be eligible. Applicants must show that they have sufficient cash flow and revenues to cover the project’s expenses. RUS also needs to see the proposed project’s network design and other relevant technical information.
JSI’s financial and engineering experts are well versed in these requirements and can assist you in meeting the obligations. Reach out to us today to discuss your project and how we can help.