I do some work for one WISP that received some grant money to help it develop its network to bridge that Digital Divide. Actually, some of the money is being used to market the rural broadband to prospective customers via a Guerrilla marketing campaign that I am helping run.
Another WISPA member wrote me to say that "in January I applied for six competitive grants to further build out our network. In the space of two weeks in March I got the responses back and won 4 of the 6 ... These are grants, not loans. Two of the grants ... can be used for time as well as equipment, while the other two grants are just for equipment." Here's the key part: "I've never written a grant application before January." That means you can too!
Donny Smith at Jaguar in Minnesota has explained how he received RUS loans by spending the requisite time to do the paperwork. (Donny will be keynoting ISPCON in November in San Jose.) (Nice write up about him here).
Congrats to the guys out there making it happen!