Friday, May 24, 2013

RUS DLT Provides Grant Funding for Distance Learning and Telemedicine

The Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program (RUS DLT), administered by the USDA, supports equipment purchases for projects located in extremely rural and economically disadvantaged locations.  Applicants may apply for funding to support the acquisition of equipment, instructional programming, and technical assistance for using eligible equipment.

Eligible applicants, include, but are not limited to, K-12 schools and school districts, education service centers, higher education institutions, community colleges, education and training providers, hospitals, medical centers, health care providers, and faith-based community organizations.  USDA encourages applications from consortiums.

Video telepresence endpoints, bridging, network management, firewall traversal, and streaming solutions are eligible for funding through this program, as long as they are an essential part of a distance learning and/or telemedicine project, and used for eligible purposes.

DLT program director, Sam Morgan, issued an email today notifying potential applicants that although the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) has not yet been published, the program is making available the Grant Application Guide and Toolkit for this year's competition.  It can be accessed at

The program expects the NOFA to be published in the Federal Register soon, at which time the submission deadline will be published.

Several manufacturers and resellers of equipment, as well as technology integrators, will help organizations pay for grant writing fees for RUS DLT projects, and provide editing and review services, etc., as long as specific program requirements are met.  For example, companies like Cisco, Polycom, LifeSize, and Vidyo all have grant assistance programs, although types of assistance and program requirements vary. 

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