Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced USDA will begin taking applications for the second round of $550 million in ReConnect Program loan and grant funding on January 31. These funds will enable the federal government to continue to partner with the private sector and rural communitiies to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. Insufficient service is defined as connection speeds of less that 10 megabits per second download and 1 megabit per second upload. ReConnect funding applications can be submitted at www.usad.gov/reconnect.
Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA/s ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. Through the ReConnect Program, USDA is making available approximately $200 million for grants, as well as up to $200 million for loan and grant combinations, and up to $200 million for low-interest loans. Funds will be awarded to projects that have financially sustainable business models that will bring high-speed broadband to rural homes, businesses, farms, ranches and community facilities such as first reponders, health care sites and schools.
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