Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says USDA will again accept rural broadband funding request this week. USDA will accept applications for the second round of $550 million in ReConnect Program loan and grant funding starting January 31.
The funds will expand public-private partnerships in rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. Insufficient service is defined as connection speeds of less than ten megabits per second download and one megabit per second upload. Secretary Perdue says, “we at USDA are very excited to begin accepting applications for the second round of funds.”
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 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. More information is available online at www.usda.gov/reconnect.