On September 22nd the USDA announced that over 500 million dollars would be given in the form of grants and loans to provide high-speed internet access for rural residents and businesses in 20 states. This funding is part of a larger Reconnect program that was launched by the USDA as well
Which states are included?
There will be a total of 32 awards in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming.
According to the USDA
“In Michigan, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is receiving a $25 million grant to connect 1,217 people and 26 businesses to high-speed internet in Chippewa and Mackinac counties. The Tribe will make high-speed internet affordable by requiring its service provider to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides a discount of up to $30 per month – or $75 per month for households on Tribal lands – on household’s internet bills, as well as the FCC’s Lifeline Program. This project will serve Sault Ste. Marie Off-Reservation Trust Land, the Sault Ste. Marie Reservation as well as socially vulnerable communities in Chippewa and Mackinac counties.”
“Net Vision Communications LLC is receiving a $12.4 million loan to connect 4,587 people, 300 businesses, nine farms and 15 public schools to high-speed internet in Barton County, Missouri. This project will serve socially vulnerable communities in the county.”
“Oklahoma’s Southern Plains Cable LLC is receiving an $8.1 million loan and an $8.1 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 7,093 people, 230 businesses, six farms and 29 schools to high-speed internet in Caddo, Comanche, Cotton and Grady counties. Southern Plains will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache-Fort Sill Apache tribal statistical area as well as socially vulnerable communities in Cotton County.”
If you are an internet service provider looking for new opportunities this could be big news for you. We’ve already seen a wave of new funds become available in communities across the country as part of the infrastructure bill.
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