DAVIS, Calif. Aug. 21, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development California State Director Maria Gallegos Herrera today announced nearly $58 million in loans and grant to connect thousands of residents, farmers, and business owners in Calaveras and Fresno counties to affordable high-speed internet through the ReConnect Program.
“I am delighted that California continues to benefit from President Biden’s commitment to expanding high-speed internet to rural areas,” said Gallegos Herrera. “The additional $58 million invested here will provide families, students, educators, business owners and farmers the opportunity to thrive in the digital era, and create a brighter, more inclusive economy and future.”
Two organizations in California are receiving ReConnect Program funds:
- The Ponderosa Telephone Company is receiving $42.5 million in a loan/grant combination to benefit 1,280 people, 26 businesses and 12 farms in Fresno County.
- Calaveras Telephone Company is receiving a $15.2 million loan to benefit 2,496 people, 13 businesses, three farms and one educational facility in Calaveras County.
Connecting all communities across the United States to high-speed internet is a central part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild the economy from the bottom up and middle out by rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. This agenda is driving more than $500 billion in private-sector manufacturing investments, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, lowering costs, and creating good-paying jobs. And it’s transforming our country for the better – reaching communities in every corner of the United States, including those that have too often been left behind.
Today’s announcement is part of a national release in which Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced nearly $700 million in grants and loans for projects in 22 states and the Marshall Islands. These high-speed internet investments are part of the fourth funding round of the ReConnect Program. Many residents and businesses in rural areas would not have high-speed internet service without the ReConnect Program, as the program is a key part of the Administration’s Internet for All initiative to connect everyone in America to high-speed internet by 2030.
President Biden forged consensus and compromise between Democrats, Republicans and Independents to demonstrate our democracy can deliver big wins for the American people. After decades of talk on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, President Biden delivered the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a historic investment in America that will change people’s lives for the better and get America moving again.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion to ensure every American has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet through a historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The legislation also lowers costs for internet service and helps close the digital divide, so that more Americans can take full advantage of the opportunities provided by internet access.
USDA 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/ca. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.