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Traditional Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Businesses, and Agencies for
Distance Learning and Health Services in Rural Communities

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Rural Utilities Service (RUS)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/04/21 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants to USA nonprofit and for-profit organizations, government agencies, Tribes, and consortia to provide and improve telemedicine services and distance learning in rural communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take up to 15 days to complete. These grants are intended to increase rural access to education, training, and health care resources that are otherwise unavailable or limited in scope. The intent of the DLT program is to benefit rural areas with populations of 20,000 or less. The Agency encourages applicants to consider projects that will promote equity and economic opportunity in rural America, specifically those that advance the following key priorities: containing the COVID-19 pandemic; ensuring racial equity; rebuilding the rural economy; and addressing the climate crisis.

This grant program helps rural communities acquire the technology and training necessary to connect educational and medical professionals with the teachers and medical providers who serve rural residents at the local level. 

The Distance Learning and Telemedicine program helps rural communities use the unique capabilities of telecommunications to connect to each other and to the world, overcoming the effects of remoteness and low population density. The DLT program helps rural residents tap into the enormous potential of modern telecommunications and the Internet for education and healthcare, two of the keys to economic and community development.

Grant funds may be used for:

  • Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as:
    • Broadband facilities
    • Audio, video and interactive video equipment
    • Terminal and data terminal equipment
    • Computer hardware, network components and software
    • Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that further DLT services
  • Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
  • Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment

For information about funding priorities, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 157088

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Approximately $44.5 million is available for funding opportunities under this FOA. Of that total, $10.2 million is intended for telemedicine projects that provide substance use disorder treatment services in rural areas. The remaining $34.3 million is available for all eligible projects.

Awards can range from $50,000 to $1,000,000.


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Independent school districts
  • Local Governments
  • 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
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants, that provide education or healthcare services through telecommunication facilities, include:
- State and local governmental entities
- Federally recognized Tribes
- Nonprofit organizations
- For-profit businesses
- Consortia of eligible entities

For a list of Ineligible Grant Purposes, see

Online Education Services: Because this program is intended to fund end-user equipment at specifically identified sites, applications which propose to provide only web-based services which are universally available are ineligible. This type of project does not have a defined service area and the beneficiaries can be located anywhere, including urban areas.

Project Eligibility
a. Ineligibility of Vendor Written Applications. 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. Such vendors are also prohibited from bidding on the project because of conflict of interest. Additionally, applicants must fully understand the procurement requirements of 2 CFR part 200 Subpart D and the DLT regulations when compiling an application for submission, and must avoid the use of predetermined equipment as a violation of the bidding requirements unless they have adequately demonstrated in the application that no other equipment is available for the intended purpose.
b. Ineligibility of Projects in Coastal Barrier Resources Act Areas. Projects located in areas covered by the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (16 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) are not eligible for financial assistance from the DLT Program. See 7 CFR 1734.23(a)(11).

Funding Restrictions:
a. Hub sites located in non-rural areas are not eligible for grant assistance unless they are necessary to provide DLT services to rural residents at end user sites.

Pre-proposal Conference:

FY 2021 DLT Webinars
Webinar 1
Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Time: 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT
Link: Register at

Webinar 2
Date: Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EDT
Link: Register at

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted through by 11:59 pm EDT on June 4, 2021

Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, if such requests are made at least 15 days prior to the due date listed in FOA.

A minimum 15 percent match is required and cannot be from another federal source. For more information, see

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) strongly encourages applicants to obtain all necessary signups, credentials and authorizations well in advance of the deadline including the required registration and financial assistance certifications and representations. requires some one-time credentialing and online authentication procedures. These procedures may take several business days to complete. Several requirements on and call for an annual update; applicants should also ensure that their credentials and authorizations are up to date. For information about required registrations, see

View this opportunity on

FY2021 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Webinar - April 14, 2021:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Questions about this announcement can be directed to Randall Millhiser, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator, Office of Loan Origination and Approval, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, telephone: (202) 720-0800, email:

General Field Representatives:

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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