Roberta, GA., Oct. 27, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Rural Development Xochitl Torres Small today announced that the Department is providing $36.4 million to bring high-speed internet access to people living and working in Central Georgia.
“When the people of rural America connect with reliable, high-speed internet, they can build stronger markets, get the healthcare they deserve, and transform our country with innovative ideas and perspectives,” Torres Small said. “Thanks to leaders in Congress like Congressman Bishop, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is bringing affordable, high-speed internet to everyone in rural America. We are proud to partner with Public Service Telephone Company to connect people, schools, businesses and farms here in rural Georgia to each other and to new opportunities in the world’s marketplace.”
USDA is providing $759 million in loans and grants in the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. Today’s investments include funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a historic $65 billion to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.
As part of today’s announcement,
- In Roberta, Georgia, the Public Service Telephone Company announced a $36,492,568 loan investment to advance its mission to bring the latest technology to rural areas of Central Georgia.
- This funding will connect 21,289 people, 569 businesses, 323 farms and 29 educational facilities to high-speed internet in Bibb, Crawford, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Talbot and Taylor counties.
Public Service Telephone is now in its 3rd generation of family ownership and is one of the oldest privately owned telecommunication companies in the United States.
USDA is making 49 awards in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, Guam and Palau. This list includes awards to The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, and the utility authorities for the Navajo Nation and the Tohono O’odham Nation. Many of the awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands.
In 2022, the Department has announced $1.6 billion in the third round of ReConnect funding.
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.
Background: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
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 www.rd.usda.gov.
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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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.