USDA accepting applications for $1.5B in loans, grants for access to high-speed internet

Sen. John Boozman’s office announced Tuesday that a $7.1 million USDA grant will fund two...
Sen. John Boozman’s office announced Tuesday that a $7.1 million USDA grant will fund two high-speed broadband infrastructure projects in Baxter, Marion, and Stone Counties.(Pablo)
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 11:30 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for up to $1.15 billion in loans and grants to help people in rural areas get access to high-speed internet.

This announcement comes on the heels of Biden’s infrastructure bill, which provides another nearly $2 billion in additional funding for the ReConnect program.

The Broadband ReConnect Program gives loans and grants for the costs of construction or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.

This application window is for the third round of funding.

“High-speed internet is the new electricity,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “It must be reliable, affordable, and available to everyone.”

Vilsack said expanding broadband availability in rural areas will help create jobs, help farmers use precision agriculture technologies, expand access to health care and educational services, and create economic opportunities for rural Americans.

Applicants must commit to building facilities capable of providing broadband service at speeds of 100 Mbps to every location in a proposed service area at the same time.

Applications can be submitted here.

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