ReConnect Rural Broadband Pilot Program
What are the best ways to bring high speed internet access to rural areas?
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the USDA is now accepting online applications for funding through the new ReConnect Rural Broadband Pilot Program.
Perdue actually was called to testify before the House Agriculture Committee on the state of the rural economy earlier this year, and made a strong case for the new ReConnect Rural Broadband Pilot Program.
I THINK IT HAS POTENTIAL TO BE ONE OF THE MOST TRANSFORMATIVE THINGS WE CAN DO FOR ALL AMERICANS. BRIDGE WITH CONNECTIVITY AND ACCESS. DISTANCE LEARNING, WORLD ECONOMICS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AS WELL AS PRECISION AGRICULTURE. I THINK WE NEED A SHADOW BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, NOT JUST TENNESSEE BUT EVERY FIELD AROUND THIS NATION. I THINK THE SOONER WE GET THERE, THE BETTER OFF THE ECONOMY AND COUNTRY WILL BE. WE'VE TAKEN THE $600 MILLION YOU UP REPEATED FLASH AND DEVELOPED A VERY GOOD PROGRAM BASED ON THOSE UNSERVED AREA. PEOPLE ARE BUSY DOING THEIR APPLICATIONS, WE GIVE THEM INFORMATION HELP TO RECEIVE THE APPLICATIONS VERY SOON. TO DEPLOY THESE AND DEMONSTRATE THAT THE USDA CAN GET THE JOB DONE REGARDING TO RURAL BROADBAND CONNECTIVITY.
Congress first appropriated funds for the new Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program, known as ReConnect, in 2018.
The program will be a proof-of-concept, enabling USDA to create and implement innovative options for rural connectivity by providing various financial packages.
This $600 million appropriation from Congress more than doubles federal funding available through USDA's longstanding broadband programs.