The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has announced that it has opened the filing window for applications to its Community Connect Grant Program. RUS will close the application window on May 14, 2018. RUS will award between $100,000 and $3,000,0000 in grant money to each successful applicant. Eligible applicants can be a state or local government entity, federally-recognized Tribe, cooperative, company or corporation, whether not-for-profit or for-profit. All award areas must be rural and have no pre-existing broadband service already offering 10 Mbps downlink and 1 Mbps uplink, or higher. In turn, if they are successful, grant recipients must agree to build a fixed or wireless network offering at least 25 Mbps downlink and 3 Mbps uplink. Additionally, successful applicants must contribute at least 15% of the final grant amount. Finally, somewhat unique to the Community Connect Grant Program, RUS will require that award winners provide broadband service free-of-charge to all “critical community facilities” within the award area for at least two years.