Funding Will Provide High-Speed Internet Access to 31,000 Individuals and Businesses in 11 States with Additions on the Way from President Biden’s Infrastructure Act
WASHINGTON, July 28, 2022 – US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $401 million to provide high-speed Internet access (PDF, 187 KB) to 31,000 rural residents and businesses in 11 states, part of the Biden- Harris. The administration’s commitment to investing in rural infrastructure and affordable high-speed Internet for all. This announcement includes a pool of investment funds from the ReConnect program, as well as an award funded through USDA’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee program.
The Department will make additional investments for rural high-speed Internet later this summer, including funding for the ReConnect Program from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, which provides a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed Internet in all communities across the US.
“Connectivity is critical to economic success in rural America,” Vilsack said. “The Internet is essential to our growth and continues to serve as a catalyst for our prosperity. From the farm to the school, from the home to the international market, communication is bringing about positive changes in our communities. The investment I’m announcing today will help 31,000 people and businesses in large and diverse regions across the country find new and important opportunities. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA knows that rural America is America’s heartland, and prosperity here means prosperity for all.”
USDA supports high-speed Internet investments in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas with today’s announcement. Several awards will help rural people and businesses in Tribal areas and those in vulnerable communities.
As part of today’s announcement:
- Uprise LLC receives a $27.1 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Pershing County, Nevada. It will connect 4,884 people, 130 businesses, 22 farms, and seven public schools with high-speed Internet. Uprise LLC will offer subscribers symmetrical service tiers of 200 megabits per second (Mbps) or one gigabit per second. It plans to apply to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program so that subscribers can receive 200 Mbps broadband service for free. This project will help the people of the Lovelock Indian Colony and several other vulnerable communities in Pershing County.
- Midvale Telephone Company receives a $10.6 million loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-home network. It will connect 455 people, 39 businesses and 69 farms to high-speed Internet in Elmore, Blaine, Custer and Boise counties in Idaho, and Gila, Graham, Pinal, Cochise and Pima counties in Arizona. This loan will help people in at-risk communities in Pinal County in Arizona and Elmore County in Idaho.
- Arkansas Telephone Company Inc. is receiving a $12 million grant to roll out a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 986 people, 10 businesses and 145 farms to high-speed Internet in Searcy and Van Buren counties. The company will offer low-cost voice/data starter packages. Discounts will be available to participants in the FCC’s Lifeline and Affordable Connections Programs.
Background: Reconnect system
To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must operate in an area where the speed of high-speed Internet service is less than 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). The applicant must also undertake to construct facilities capable of providing high-speed Internet service at a speed of 100 Mbps (download and upload) everywhere in its proposed service area.
To learn more about rural investment resources, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development regional office.
Background: Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation
President Biden has made compromises and compromises between Democrats, Republicans and Independents to show that our democracy can bring great success to the American people. After decades of talking about rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, President Biden unveiled the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act – a historic investment in America that will change people’s lives for the better and get America moving again.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act provides $65 billion to ensure that every American has access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet through a historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The law also lowers the cost of Internet service and helps close the digital divide, so more Americans can take full advantage of Internet access.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life of millions of Americans in rural areas. This aid supports infrastructure development; business Development; houses; public institutions such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed Internet access in rural, tribal and poor areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, the USDA is transforming the American food system by focusing on strong local and regional food production, fair markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food for all communities, creating new markets and streams. income for farmers and producers who use climate-smart food and forestry practices, historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy in rural America, and a commitment to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce that represents America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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