USDA Invites Comments on the Implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program
The Department of Agriculture invited comments on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program established in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 on March 23, 2018. USDA is developing this pilot program to catalyze private investment and bring broadband to unserved rural areas of the country. The new program provides a unique opportunity to develop modern methods to leverage federal funds to increase private investment in broadband services for as many rural American homes, businesses, farms, schools and health care facilities as possible. USDA is seeking input as we develop the rules and requirements of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program. All stakeholders with an interest in rural broadband deployment are welcome to contribute. Specifically, comments on the following issues are sought:
- Ways of evaluating a rural household’s “sufficient access” to broadband e-Connectivity at speeds of 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream, and how broadband service affordability should be factored in.
- Best options to verify speeds of broadband service provided to rural households.
- Best leading indicators of the potential project benefits for rural industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, e-commerce, transportation, health care and education, using readily available public data.
Comments are due on or before 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018
USDA Invites Comments on the Implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program USDA Seeks Input on $600 Million E-Connectivity Pilot for Rural Broadband Funding (telecompetitor)