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USDA provides over $103M for broadband access in rural areas

USDA has announced 18 telecommunications recipients will share over $103 million in funds for 23 projects to bring broadband services to rural areas – areas that continue to lag behind the urban U.S. in broadband access, according to Rural Utilities Services Administrator Jonathan Adelstein.

Each project must be completed in three years and together they’ll provide broadband to an estimated seven million people, he said. Among several benefits the projects will provide – for example, economic and educational opportunities – Adelstein noted that the Internet access provided by broadband is a necessity to keep young people in rural areas.

The Community Connect program brings broadband access to people in remote and low-income communities, including areas hit by persistent poverty. The program funds can be used to lease, acquire or construct facilities to provide broadband to community facilities – schools, public safety buildings – along with businesses and residents. Fund recipients must provide local community centers in the town with at least ten computers which are available free for two years.



In addition to the Community Connect grants, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced loans totaling $90 million for five broadband infrastructure projects.

The states benefiting from the broadband funding are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.



The complete list of awardees is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/supportdocuments/CommConnectInfrastructureAwardsAugust2011.pdf.

USDA has announced 18 telecommunications recipients will share over $103 million in funds for 23 projects to bring broadband services to rural areas – areas that continue to lag behind the urban U.S. in broadband access, according to Rural Utilities Services Administrator Jonathan Adelstein.

Each project must be completed in three years and together they’ll provide broadband to an estimated seven million people, he said. Among several benefits the projects will provide – for example, economic and educational opportunities – Adelstein noted that the Internet access provided by broadband is a necessity to keep young people in rural areas.

The Community Connect program brings broadband access to people in remote and low-income communities, including areas hit by persistent poverty. The program funds can be used to lease, acquire or construct facilities to provide broadband to community facilities – schools, public safety buildings – along with businesses and residents. Fund recipients must provide local community centers in the town with at least ten computers which are available free for two years.

In addition to the Community Connect grants, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack also announced loans totaling $90 million for five broadband infrastructure projects.

The states benefiting from the broadband funding are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The complete list of awardees is available at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/supportdocuments/CommConnectInfrastructureAwardsAugust2011.pdf.


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