USDA Invests $152 Million to Improve Broadband Service in 14 States
Projects will Provide High-Speed Communications Technology to Support Economic and Educational Opportunities
Harrisburg, Pa. Oct. 7, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy today announced that USDA is investing $152 million in 20 projects to provide or improve rural broadband service in 14 states.
“Deploying high-speed broadband internet connectivity, or ‘e-Connectivity,’ in rural America expands access to essential health, educational, social and business opportunities,” LaVoy said. “President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue are committed to fully utilizing all resources Congress provides for building and modernizing this critical infrastructure in rural America, because we believe that when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
USDA is making the investments through the Community Connect Grant Program, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Investing in telecommunications infrastructure connects people to each other: businesses to customers, farmers to markets, and students to a world of knowledge.
“USDA’s broadband goal is to help rural America get connected and the Community Connect program can do that by helping bring robust broadband service to underserved rural areas,” said State Director Curt Coccodrilli.
Below is an example of a project in Pennsylvania that will receive USDA funding.
- Youngsville Telephone Corporation is receiving a grant of $637,500 to construct a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to 240 homes and businesses within the Cherry Grove community in Warren County Pa. Youngsville Television, dba Blue Fiber, located in Youngsville, Warren County, Pa., will construct a broadband network to support service at levels up to 1 Gbps for each subscriber. This broadband network will assist in economic opportunities, economic development, and economic growth.
In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Increasing investments in rural infrastructure is a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
To view the report in its entirety, please view the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB). In addition, to view the categories of the recommendations, please view the Rural Prosperity infographic (PDF, 190 KB).
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.