Since October 2019, USDA has invested $744 Million to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity to 172,000 households across 34 states
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2020 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is investing more than $500,000 to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Iowa. This investment is part of USDA’s round one investments through the ReConnect Pilot Program.
“The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” said Secretary Perdue. “I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come.”
In rural Iowa, Breda Telephone Corp. will use a $523,749 grant to deploy a Fiber-to-the Home (FTTH) network to connect 113 people, 20 farms and nine businesses in Arcadia, Iowa, in Carroll County to broadband e-Connectivity.
Today’s Iowa announcement marks the final announcement from round one of the ReConnect Program. Since October 2019, USDA has invested $744 million to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity to approximately 172,000 households, 19,000 rural small businesses and farms, and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities, and critical community facilities located in 34 states.
In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Secretary Perdue announced the rules of the program, called “ReConnect,” including how the loans and grants will be awarded to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.
On April 20, 2020, USDA announced the Department has received 172 applications for $1.57 billion in round two of the ReConnect Program. The second round will enable USDA to implement innovative new solutions to rural connectivity by leveraging financial options with our partners and continue the success of the first round of funding. The application window for round two closed on April 15.
USDA received 11 round two ReConnect Program applications that are eligible for the $100 million Congress allocated to the program through the CARES Act.
To learn more about ReConnect Program eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.
USDA is reviewing applications and announcing approved projects on a rolling basis. Additional investments in all three categories will be made in the coming weeks.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.