$714 million in grants and loans to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 19 states to reliable, affordable high-speed internet is on the way from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a June 12 announcement.
“High-speed internet is a key to prosperity for people who live and work in rural communities,” Secretary Vilsack said. “Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we can ensure that rural communities have access to the internet connectivity needed to continue to expand the economy from the bottom up and middle out and to make sure rural America remains a place of opportunity to live, work, and raise a family.”
USDA is connecting more people to high-speed internet in this fourth funding round of the ReConnect Program. Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Department has invested in 142 ReConnect projects that will bring high-speed internet access to 314,000 rural Americans.
As noted by a USDA press release, connecting all communities across the United States to high-speed internet is a central part of President Biden’s 'Investing in America' agenda to rebuild the national economy "from the bottom up and middle out" by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, which the agency notes "is driving over $470 billion in private sector manufacturing investments and creating good-paying jobs."
Under the President’s Investing in America agenda, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes $65 billion to connect rural subscribers to high-speed internet through the Internet for All initiative.
This week's announcement includes $714 million in USDA investments in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.