USDA Invests $152 Million to Improve Broadband Service in 14 States

The Department of Agriculture Monday announced $152 million in rural broadband development funding. The funds support developing and improving rural broadband service through 19 projects across 14 states.

USDA rural development deputy secretary Donald LaVoy says the effort will expand access to essential health, educational, social and business opportunities. The USDA is making the investments through the Community Connect Grant Program, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, and the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. The agency says investing in telecommunications infrastructure connects businesses to customers, farmers to markets, and students to a world of knowledge.

As part of the investments, a $34 million loan will upgrade fiber connections in Kentucky, benefitting 5,300 customers. In addition, a $3 million loan will help enhance broadband in southwest Virginia, and another $850,000 loan will help develop a fiber network in Morton County, North Dakota.

The funds are part of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity effort by President Donald Trump. A complete list of funded projects is available online at visit www.rd.usda.gov.