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USDA Awards $33 Million to Connect People in Remote and Rural Areas to High-Speed Internet in Washington State

Philip Eggman
Release Date


Funding is Part of $700 Million in Loans and Grants from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

 WASHINGTON, Aug. 21, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced nearly $700 million in grants and loans to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 22 states including Washington to reliable, affordable high-speed internet through USDA’s High Speed Internet Programs.

“Keeping the people of rural America connected with reliable, high-speed internet brings new and innovative ideas to the rest of our country and creates good-paying jobs along the way,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are connecting rural communities to a global marketplace. These investments will support economic growth and prosperity for generations to come.” 

Today’s high-speed internet investments in Washington State include $30.19 million to Public Utility District (PUD) 1 of Okanogan County through USDA’s ReConnect Program to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to provide high-speed internet that will benefit 1,157 people, 21 businesses, 68 farms and two educational facilities in Okanogan County. Additionally, the PUD will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program. 

 Also, as part of USDA’s commitment to expand high-speed internet access, the Hood Canal Telephone Co. Inc. is receiving a $3.8 million loan through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan & Loan Guarantee Program. This investment will help construct 16 miles of fiber to provide high-speed internet access to 800 households and 10 businesses in Union, Washington.  

"This is fantastic news for these two rural communities," stated Helen Price Johnson, Washington State's Director for USDA Rural Development. "As a direct result of the Biden administrations’ Investing in America efforts, rural families and businesses in Mason and Okanogan County will have access to dependable high-speed internet. These investments will open up opportunities for education, jobs, health care and innovation that did not exist before."

 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

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wa.