Home > News > New USDA Funds Aim to Expand Rural Broadband Access

Rural America has long faced the digital divide, leaving many without access to high-speed internet. In some cases, internet access isn’t available at all. The USDA is working to bridge the gap through the ReConnect Program. The program has allocated billions of dollars to increase rural internet access since it was initially introduced in 2018. A new round of grants and loans was announced on June 13, 2023. More than $714 million will be allocated to 19 states for broadband projects.

Some question the cost of delivering high-speed internet to areas with relatively small populations. However, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defended the program, pointing out the contributions rural Americans make to the entire nation.

“You can see this is money well invested in providing economic opportunity for people who live, work and raise their families in a very important part of this country,” he said.

Read more about the new grants and loans here.


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