(4/9/19) A round-table meeting was held today to discuss the importance of expanding broadband access in rural areas.

The USDA Office of Rural Development is working to help those communities better understand the requirements for ‘ReConnect’, an e-connectivity pilot program that was authorized by Congress in 2018.

The program enables the USDA to create and implement innovative solutions to rural connectivity by providing various financial options to customers. 

State Director Dr. Carrie Castille said, “It is something that we want to get on the ground as soon as possible. We understand that’s an essential service so as quick as we can get this technology deployed, that’s where we want to be.”

The USDA is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.  

Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding.