The Trump Administration announced October 16th that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $252,000 to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Wyoming. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.
“High-speed internet e-Connectivity allows businesses access to global markets, remote learning for students, and greater access to all kinds of health care,” USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service Administrator Chad Rupe said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has been working tirelessly to be a strong partner in deploying this essential infrastructure because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”
Union Telephone company will use a $252,000 ReConnect grant to deploy a fixed-wireless network to connect 106 people, seven businesses, a post office, a fire station, and a farm to high-speed broadband internet in Carbon, Sweetwater, and Fremont counties in Wyoming.
In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Secretary Perdue announced the rules of the program, called “ReConnect,” including how the loans and grants will be awarded to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.
On April 20, 2020, USDA announced the Department has received 172 applications for $1.57 billion in Round Two of the ReConnect Program. The second round will enable USDA to implement innovative new solutions to rural connectivity by leveraging financial options with our partners and continuing the success of the first round of funding. The application window for Round Two closed on April 15.
In Round One of the ReConnect Program, USDA invested $698 million to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity to approximately 167,000 households, 17,000 rural small businesses and farms, and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities located in 33 states. To learn more about individual investments, read USDA’s Broadband ReConnect Program report.
USDA received 11 Round Two ReConnect Program applications that are eligible for the $100 million Congress allocated to the program through the CARES Act.
To learn more about ReConnect Program eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.
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.