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USDA Announces $3.7 Million to Improve Internet Access in the Upper Peninsula

Alec Lloyd
East Lansing
Release Date

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins today announced a $3.7 million grant to provide high-speed internet access to residents in Chippewa County.

“One of the most difficult aspects of extending rural internet connectivity is covering the ‘last mile’ of service to homes and businesses,” said Fewins.  “Today’s grant demonstrates that USDA has the resources and willingness to close this gap.”

The project is part of $274 million in loans and grants to expand access to high-speed internet for people living and working across eight states and is funded through the ReConnect Program, which is specifically designed to provide high-speed internet to the most rural, remote and underserved communities in America.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians will use a $3,742,293 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to provide high-speed internet. This network will benefit 56 people in Chippewa County. The tribe will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. This project will serve the Sault Sainte Marie Land Area Representation.

These investments are part of the fourth round of the ReConnect Program, and represent a significant step in the Administration’s Internet for All initiative to connect everyone in America to high-speed internet by 2030.

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.