The Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) 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. For example, this program can link teachers and medical service providers in one area to students and patients in another.
Entities eligible to apply for this grant funding include state and local governmental entities, non-profits, for-profit businesses, federally-recognized tribes and consortia of eligible entities. Awards range from $50,000 to $500,000. A minimum 15% match is required.
Funds may be used for:
- Acquisition of eligible capital assets, such as:
- Broadband transmission facilities
- Audio, video and interactive video equipment
- Terminal and data terminal equipment
- Computer hardware, network components and software
- Inside wiring and similar infrastructure that furthers DLT services
- Acquisition of instructional programming that is a capital asset
- Acquisition of technical assistance and instruction for using eligible equipment
Rural Development will give priority to applications proposing innovative projects to address the opioid misuse in rural communities as part of the Agency’s charge to strengthen rural America’s capacity to respond to the epidemic.
Past DLT grant recipients include the Vermont State Colleges System who received a $388,988 grant to create a distance learning network to connect Northern Vermont University, comprised of Johnson State College and Lyndon State College, to Sinte Gleska University, Lower Brule Community College and Ihanktonwan Community College in South Dakota and to 28 Vermont high schools. A mix of fixed and mobile video conferencing technology will increase course offerings to students, such as dual-credit college courses. It also will provide increased professional development opportunities for instructors and extend these opportunities to individuals in public service agencies, such as police officers and firefighters.