Broadband Reconnect Program Update
The program, known as the ReConnect, will award up to $600 million through grants, loans and grant/loan combinations to entities capable of providing retail broadband service to customers in rural areas currently lacking sufficient broadband access.
Chad Rupe with the USDA recently gave the Senate Agriculture Committee an update on progress of the ReConnect program to help bring broadband to more rural areas.
We opened that program for applications earlier this year and we received one hundred and forty six applications from 41 states for the total of a 1.4 billion dollars on the $600 million in appropriations from the first round of funding that we received. We have started the award and announcements for those and we plan to have that fully completed by December for the first round of funding. We have publicly announced some of them. We have many offers that are out on the table for 27 projects so far as of this morning for a total of $289 million worth of those funds in 20 states. So we're actively engaging in making our decisions and finding the right award opportunities in the right locations. And it changes on a daily basis and we're working extremely hard to make that happen.
The FCC says -- 80 percent of American households that do not have broadband are in rural areas.