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Biden-Harris Administration Provides $759 Million to Bring High-Speed Internet Access to Communities Across Rural America

Name
Miguel A. Ramirez
Phone
City
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Release Date
Nov 02, 2022

Puerto Rico Was Awarded a Grant of $8,783,620 to Provide Hight Internet Access to 1,200 Households & Seven Schools in the municipality of Patillas

Versión en Español aquí

 

San Juan, Puerto Rico- November 2, 2022 – USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department is providing $759 million to bring high-speed internet access to people living and working across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Palau. Today’s investments include funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a historic $65 billion to expand reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.

“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 can 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.” The $759 million in loans and grants comes from the third funding round of the ReConnect Program.

Luis R. Garcia. Acting State Director for USDA Rural Development in Puerto Rico indicated that VPNet in Puerto Rico was awarded a grant of $8,783,620. “This Rural Development investment will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This project will connect one-thousand-two hundred (1,200) homes and seven public schools within the municipality of Patillas to high-speed internet,” Garcia said.

VPNet, Inc. will make its “Red Verde” high-speed internet service affordable by participating in the FCC’s Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. This enable VPNet to further discount the cost of broadband services to low-income households. This project will serve the socially vulnerable communities of Patillas.

 

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.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.

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 and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/pr. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page. You can follow us in our Twitter Account @RD_PuertoRico.

 

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