PHOENIX, June 12, 2023 – USDA Rural Development Arizona State Director Charlene Fernandez today announced nearly $28.5 million in grants to connect rural residents, farmers, and business owners in rural Arizona to reliable, affordable high-speed internet.
“With today’s investments, over 1,900 people in rural Arizona will benefit from the promises made and promises kept of the Biden-Harris Administration,” Fernandez said. “As we travel throughout the state of Arizona we hear from our rural residents over and over again that too many lack access to quality, affordable, high-speed internet. Arizona rural people will thrive as we strive to reach our goal of digital equity throughout the state with emphasis on access to educational opportunities, telemedicine, tele-employment and so much more.”
Colorado River Indian Tribes is receiving a $25 million grant to connect 1,946 people, 41 businesses, three farms, and four educational facilities in La Paz County.
South Central Utah Telephone Association Inc. will use a nearly $3.5 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network providing high-speed internet to 24 people and one farm in Coconino County.
Both Colorado River Indian Tribes and South Central Utah Telephone Association Inc. will make monthly internet service affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program.
Connecting all communities across the United States to high-speed internet is central part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, which is driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing investments and creating good-paying jobs.
Under the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $65 billion to connect everyone to high-speed internet through the Internet for All initiative. USDA is connecting more people to high-speed internet in this fourth funding round of the ReConnect Program. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Department has invested in 142 ReConnect projects that will bring high-speed internet access to 314,000 rural Americans.
Applicants to ReConnect Program funding must serve a rural area that lacks access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload. Applicants must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service with speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in the proposed service area. Additionally, to ensure that rural households that need internet service can afford it, all awardees will be required to apply to participate in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP offers a discount of up to $30 per month towards internet service to qualifying low-income households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal Lands.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans 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, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit http://www.rd.usda.gov/az. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.