Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says his agency will make $550 million available through its ReConnect Pilot Program. The application window for the funding will open on January 31st of next year.
“The second round of ReConnect funding will help USDA be an even stronger partner in closing the digital divide in America’s rural communities,” Perdue says. “Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity by boosting economic opportunity in rural America.”
USDA knows that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity.
Perdue made the funding announcement during a stop in Iowa, alongside Governor Kim Reynolds. Perdue was in the state to congratulate the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton, Iowa, which received $6.4 million in first-round ReConnect program funding.
The funds help the company connect 477 households, 35 farms, and 21 businesses to the internet. In the second round, USDA will make up to $200 million in grants available, up to $200 million in 50-50 grant/loan combinations, and up to $200 million available for low-interest loans.
To learn more about the program, go to www.usda.gov/reconnect.