On Thursday, the USDA awarded $502 million in loans and grants to provide high-speed internet access for rural residents and businesses in 20 states.  USDA is making the investments through the third funding round of the ReConnect Program.


Here in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon will receive over $10.2 million.  The funds will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network, connecting 1,163 people, 41 businesses, 70 farms, and four educational facilities to high-speed internet in Baker, Grant, and Malheur counties in Oregon.  Oregon Telephone Corporation will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program and the Oregon Telephone Assistance Program, including Oregon Lifeline 


Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the Department will make additional investments for rural high-speed internet in the coming months, including funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the country.


“President Biden’s commitment to high-speed internet in rural communities is foundational to ensuring that the nation’s economy continues to expand from the bottom up and the middle out,” Vilsack said. “High-speed internet will improve the rural economy. It will help rural businesses grow and get access to new markets. It will help rural residents get access to more and better health care and educational opportunities. USDA knows rural America is America’s backbone, and prosperity here means prosperity for all.”


Other state receiving USDA funding include: Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. 


Click Here for a break down of all projects receiving funding.


If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail glenn.vaagen@townsquaremedia.com 

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