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 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.
"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.