USDA Rural Development Utah State Director Randy Parker today announced that USDA is investing in a major three-part infrastructure project in Utah to improve e-Connectivity in rural communities.
“In our country and in our state, e-Connectivity is absolutely essential for prosperity,” Parker said. “USDA’s partnership with Emery Telcom supports the efforts of local projects like the new Rural Online Initiative, aimed at rural job creation and training, to make sure our rural residents can enjoy the same online commerce, education, and employment opportunities as those in urban areas.”
According to a 2018 report by the Federal Communications Commission, 80 percent of the 24 million American households who lack reliable, affordable, high-speed internet are in rural areas. USDA’s investments in broadband infrastructure are helping transform rural America, providing innovation and technology to increase economic competitiveness and opportunities.
Emery Telcom is receiving three grants totaling $3.3 million
to provide fiber broadband service to unserved portions of San Juan and Grand Counties. These projects will increase access to economic development, health care, educational, and public safety opportunities for 480 households through state-of-the-art voice, video, and data services. Each project includes the establishment of a community center broadband access point. Access points will be located in Castle Valley, La Sal, and Mexican Hat where the public can use computer terminals and Wi-Fi service free of charge.
USDA is investing a total $91 million today through the Telecommunications Programs. The 19 projects will benefit more than 27,000 businesses and households in 12 states.
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 facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/ut