Better Broadband Coming Southeast
Rural Georgia farmers are among those to benefit from the second round of USDA funding for improved broadband services.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack just announced twelve additional states were recently awarded funding through the USDA's ReConnect program.
Vilsack: “ In rural Georgia, we’re making a combination grant and loan that’s going to provide additional access to high-speed internet for over 6,600 households, 10 healthcare facilities, 574 businesses, and 207 farms. These are real-life consequences of investments that are very much needed in rural places. And we’re very excited about the role that USDA has played under the ReConnect Program and will continue to play.”
Altamaha (ALT a maha) Electric Membership Corporation, based in Lyons, Ga., will use a $10.6 million loan and a $10.6 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-premises network in rural Georgia. As Vilsack mentioned the service area includes 6,665 households, 18,789 people, 25 educational facilities, 17 essential community facilities, 10 health care facilities, 573 businesses, and 207 farms spread over 246 square miles.
The investments are part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program which began in 2018.
The program earlier invested $62 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure for more than 8,000 rural households, and 57 farms in Alabama.
Farmers in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia will also see improved connectivity as part of Reconnect round two.
The USDA expects to begin taking the third round of program applications this fall.