U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is providing $759 million to bring high-speed internet access, including $59 million to rural Michigan communities.
“People living in rural towns across the nation need high-speed internet to run their businesses, go to school and connect with their loved ones,” Vilsack said. “USDA partners with small towns, local utilities and cooperatives, and private companies to increase access to high-speed internet so people in rural America have the opportunity to build brighter futures. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to making sure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet. That’s how you grow the economy – not just in rural communities, but across the nation.”
Michigan will receive $6.4 million in loans and $52.6 million in grants.
“The scope of these projects demonstrates USDA’s commitment to serving all of Michigan,” said USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins. “From the Upper Peninsula to the Indiana-Ohio border, we are helping to build opportunities and invest in the future.”
Michigan has four projects:
The Baraga Telephone Company will use a $3,302,981 loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 362 people, four farms and two businesses to high-speed internet in Houghton County.
The Michigan Central Broadband Company LLC will use a $14,948,004 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-home network to connect 360 people, 52 farms and seven businesses to high-speed internet in Crawford, Kalkaska, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. The recipient will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs.
The Upper Peninsula Telephone Company will use a $34,532,301 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 1,625 people, 69 farms, 40 businesses and two educational facilities to high-speed internet in Dickinson, Luce, Mackinac, Marquette, Menominee and Ontonagon counties. The recipient will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and the Lifeline programs.
DMCI Broadband, LLC will use a $3,122,745 loan and $3,122,745 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 2,899 people, 94 farms, 56 businesses and four educational facilities to high-speed internet in Branch and Hillsdale counties. The recipient will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program.
Background: ReConnect Program
To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must serve an area that does not have access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). The applicant 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 its proposed service area.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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