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USDA Invests $24.7 Million to Expand Rural High-Speed Internet Access in Lowndes County, Alabama

Name
Calvin Burroughs
City
Montgomery, Ala.
Release Date
Nov 02, 2022

MONTGOMERY, Ala., November 2, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Alabama State Director Nivory Gordon today announced USDA is investing $24.7 million to fund projects which will expand high-speed internet access in Lowndes County, Alabama.

"Communities across rural Alabama are need access to high-speed internet in order to participate in the modern digital landscape," Gordon said. "Whether it is for learning, conducting business, connecting with loved ones, or providing services which are not available locally, the lack of high-speed internet access has a direct impact on the quality of life for our rural families. That's why we here at USDA are working with high-speed internet providers to continue to connect rural Alabama to the world."

Hayneville Telephone Company will use a grant of $24,781,800 to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 4,646 people, 154 farms, 96 businesses and three public schools to high-speed internet in Lowndes County, Alabama. Hayneville Telephone Company Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve socially vulnerable communities in Lowndes County. The grant announced today comes from the third funding round of the ReConnect Program.

In other parts of the country, USDA is making 48 awards in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, Guam and Palau. This list includes awards to The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, and the utility authorities for the Navajo Nation and the Tohono O’odham Nation. Many of the awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands.

In 2022, the Department has announced $1.6 billion from the third round of ReConnect funding.

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 https://www.rd.usda.gov/al or contact the Alabama State Office of USDA Rural Development.

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.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean-energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov. To subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

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