USDA Broadband Program Enters Phase Two

USDA Broadband Program Enters Phase Two

Applications are being reviewed and funding will be announced this fiscal year.

USDA has completed round one of its Recovery Act Broadband Funding program. Now, applications filed under the second and final round are under review and will be announced before the end of the 2010 fiscal year. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the Recovery Act broadband projects will open up educational, job and business opportunities to hundreds of thousands of Americans living in rural areas.

Earlier this month, President Obama said
America is on the verge of a broadband-driven Internet era that will unleash innovation, create new jobs and industries, provide consumers with new powerful sources of information, enhance American safety and security, and connect communities in ways that strengthen our democracy.

To date, nearly $1.1 billion has been invested by USDA through the Recovery Act for 68 broadband projects.  Together, the projects will make high speed Internet available to an estimated 529,0000 households and 96,000 rural business and public facilities across 31 states, one territory and 17 tribal lands and predominantly Alaska Native regions. Many of the areas to be served are extremely remote, sparsely populated and in some cases not connected by roads.

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