USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that his agency is awarding $502 million in loans and grants to help provide high-speed internet in rural America.
The funds will be available for rural residents and businesses in 20 states. USDA is making these investments through the third funding round of the ReConnect Program.
“High-speed internet will improve the rural economy,” says Vilsack. “It will help rural businesses grow and get access to new markets, as well as help rural residents get access to more and better health care and educational opportunities.”
The secretary also calls rural America the country’s “backbone.” To be eligible for the funding, an applicant must serve in an area where high-speed internet service speeds are lower than 100 megabits per second for downloads and 20 Mbps for uploads.
The agency will have more investment announcements in the coming weeks. For more information about investment in rural areas, go to rd.usda.gov.