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USDA Rural Development Announces Funding for Tahoe Prosperity Center to Bring Internet to Entire Tahoe Basin

Teja Dusanapudi
Carson City
Release Date

Funding Announced During ReConnect Round 5 Workshop

RENO, NV, Feb. 27, 2024 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) Nevada State Director Lucas Ingvoldstad today announced during the Round 5 ReConnect Workshop that the Tahoe Prosperity Center will receive $200,000 through the Broadband Technical Assistance Program to promote the expansion of high-speed internet in seven communities across the Washoe and Douglas counties in Nevada. This Rural Development cooperative agreement will fund Tahoe Prosperity Center to identify and initiate projects in Nevada to bring high-speed internet connectivity throughout the entire Tahoe Basin.

“The Biden-Harris Administration understands that high-speed internet is a necessity for rural Nevadans to access job opportunities, education, healthcare, and more,” said Ingvoldstad. “Together with Tahoe Prosperity Center, we will work to close the digital gap in the Tahoe Basin and ensure that every community has the resources they need and the opportunities they deserve. We remain committed to investing in broadband projects that will make rural Nevada safer, healthier, and poised for economic growth, and look forward to strong broadband applications from this ReConnect Round 5 Workshop.”

“We’re proud to work together with USDA to fulfill our Connected Tahoe initiative to bring gigabit-level service to the Tahoe Basin,” said Heidi Hill Drum, Tahoe Prosperity Center Executive Director. “Secure and reliable internet and cell service is crucial for residents to access medical care, business resources, and emergency alerts. As we continue to facilitate broadband infrastructure projects throughout the Basin, we look forward to realizing our commitment and the commitment of USDA RD to unite communities and strengthen regional prosperity.”

State Director Ingvoldstad today delivered the opening remarks for the ReConnect Round 5 Workshop in Reno, a three-day workshop provided by USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for those interested in applying for the fifth round of ReConnect Program funding. The ReConnect Program offers loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in areas of rural America without sufficient access to broadband. Nevada-based projects funded through the ReConnect Program include a $27 million award as well as a $596,000 award to bring high-speed internet access to the City of Lovelock and the Goshute Land Area Representation respectively. Rural Utilities Service Administrator Andy Berke was also in attendance.

Tahoe Prosperity Center received funding under the Broadband Technical Assistance ProgramUSDA is providing $9.7 million to help 24 organizations deliver or receive technical assistance to expand high-speed internet access for people in rural and Tribal communities across 17 states. This funding will also develop and expand broadband cooperatives in rural areas. Tahoe Prosperity Center previously received a $24,000 grant through the Rural Business Development Grant to implement regionally identified strategies to start, grow, and support small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Lake Tahoe area, projected to create 50 jobs and save 25.

The  Broadband Technical Assistance Program is made possible by President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides $65 billion to expand reliable, affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.

This announcement was initially part of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack’s announcement last week during a visit to Edgecombe, N.C., a Rural Partners Network community, that USDA is funding 216 projects in 45 states, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands to bring high-speed internet, state-of-the-art infrastructure and economic growth to rural communities as part of President Biden's Investing in America agenda.