USDA Invests in Broadband Infrastructure in Unserved and Underserved Rural Areas

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing more than $200 million in infrastructure projects to bring broadband to hundreds of unserved and underserved rural communities.  Hazlett discussed USDA’s work to expand broadband access in rural areas during a visit today to Upshur County (WV). She announced that USDA is awarding a grant to the Central West Virginia Development Association to provide broadband to more than 3,600 households, businesses and community facilities in Barbour, Randolph and Upshur counties. Hazlett and Sen Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) met with local officials at Buckhannon-Upshur High School and discussed how the grant will help students with educational and career opportunities. They also met with business officials who welcomed USDA’s assistance as a great partnership to expand broadband infrastructure to underserved areas.  While in West Virginia, Hazlett announced that USDA is awarding eight additional grants in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, as well as 10 loans to expand broadband in rural areas. The loans will provide new or improved broadband access for more than 71,000 residents and businesses in 74 counties in rural parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin. These awards are being financed through USDA’s Telecommunications Program, which has provided financial assistance to more than 500 telecommunications providers nationwide. USDA is announcing $207 million in loans and grants today.

USDA Invests in Broadband Infrastructure in Unserved and Underserved Rural Areas USDA Announces $207 Million in Loans and Grants for Rural Broadband Funding (telecompetitor)