Rural Development (USDA )

TCC Awarded $35 Million Grant to Bring Broadband to Rural Alaskan Villages

The Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC) was awarded a $35 million grant to install affordable, reliable high-speed fiber broadband in the three underserved TCC village communities of Venetie, Chalkyitsik, and Circle (AK). The project is part of the Alaska FiberOptic Project, which is a larger collaboration between Calista Corporation; Doyon, Limited; Gana-A ‘Yoo Limited; Tanana Chiefs Conference; and Alaska Communications to connect more than 20 communities in the Yukon and Kuskokwim regions, beginning in Fairbanks and extending to the

Technology Use (Farm Computer Usage and Ownership) August 2023

Nationally, 85 percent of farms reported having access to the internet. In 2023, 51 percent of internet-connected farms utilized a broadband connection while 75 percent of internet-connected farms had access through a cellular data plan. Additionally, 69 percent of farms had a desktop or laptop computer while 82 percent of farms had a smartphone. In 2023, 32 percent of farms used the internet to purchase agricultural inputs, which was an increase of 3 percent from 2021.

President Biden Nominates Basil Gooden for USDA Under Secretary of Rural Development

President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Basil Ivanhoe Gooden for Under Secretary of Rural Development in the Department of Agriculture. Gooden currently serves as the Director of State Operations for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development. Appointed to this position in July 2021, he is responsible for providing leadership, support, and supervision to the 47 State Directors in USDA Rural Development.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $800 Million to Strengthen Rural Infrastructure and Create Jobs

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $808 million to help rural cooperatives and utilities build and improve electric infrastructure and increase electric grid reliability and security, connecting hundreds of thousands

Some areas of Colorado still don’t have high-speed internet, but new funding could change that

Since the late 1990s Colorado has tried to expand access to high-speed broadband. It’s been done in starts and stops, and sometimes not at all. Now Colorado is getting a huge amount of federal money, more than $826 million in Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding that was part of the 2021 infrastructure law to help expand broadband internet across the state and the country.

Chairwoman Rosenworcel Announces Rechartering of Precision Agriculture Task Force

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the FCC's intent to recharter the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Task Force for its third and final term, calling on the four working groups to examine the impact of connectivity in meeting the production and sustainability challenges facing agricultural and food systems. In addition, Chairwoman Rosenworcel called for representatives from diverse and historically underrepresented communities, including socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, to apply for membership to the Task Force and its working groups.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Over $700 Million to Connect People in Rural Areas to High-Speed Internet

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) made $714 million in grants and loans to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers and business owners in 19 states to reliable, affordable high-speed internet.

Sens. Bennet and Budd Introduce Legislation to Connect More Rural Communities to High-Speed Internet

Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Connecting Our Neighbors to Networks and Ensuring Competitive Telecommunications (CONNECT) Act of 2023 to reform the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ReConnect Loan and Grant Program.

North Dakota Providers Break Ground on Government-Funded Fiber Broadband Builds

Five providers that offer service in eastern North Dakota broke ground simultaneously on fiber projects funded, in part, through state and federal broadband programs.

Senator Fischer Leads Bill to Address “Last Acre” Connectivity, Expand Broadband Access Across Farmland and Ranchland

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Linking Access to Spur Technology for Agriculture Connectivity in Rural Environments (LAST ACRE) Act. This legislation would create a new Last Acre Program at the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development aiming to expand network connectivity across farmland and ranchland. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) co-led the introduction of the legislation. Existing Rural Development programs support “last mile” broadband deployment, which connects broadband networks to rural households or businesses.