U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan Brandon Fewins today announced that USDA is now accepting applications for ReConnect Program loans and grants to expand access to high-speed internet for rural Michigan communities.
“USDA Rural Development has already made considerable investments in bringing high-speed internet to Michigan communities, but there is still a lot of work to do,” said Fewins. “Improved communication benefits every aspect of a community from schools and medicine to supporting businesses. Now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity by contacting USDA.”
On Sept. 6, USDA began accepting applications for loans, with available funds of $150 million, grants with available funds of $700 million, and combination loan/grant awards using $300 million under the ReConnect Program. These funds were appropriated under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Governmentwide, the law provides an historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.
The application deadline is Nov. 2. For additional information, see page 47690 of the Aug. 4 Federal Register.
Background: ReConnect Program
To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must serve an area where high-speed internet service is not available 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 at speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in its proposed service area.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, 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.
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