BRIEF: USDA Launches Rural Broadband Portal

The new website is meant to update the public on connectivity initiatives and solicit feedback.

by Matt Combs, The Register-Herald / September 4, 2018
Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

(TNS) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a website to inform the public on ongoing rural broadband opportunities and future opportunities and to allow for feedback.

According to a release, $700 million is available every year for rural broadband connectivity projects with an additional $600 million a year in funds to soon become available.

“Rural high-speed broadband e-Connectivity is as important for economic development as rail, roads, bridges and airports – and as vital as the buildouts of rural telephone networks were decades ago,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a release. “USDA is committed to being a strong partner with rural leaders in deploying this essential infrastructure.”

Along with sharing existing and planned programs, the new website allows for input from both rural Internet users and rural Internet providers.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 80 percent of those in the United States without access to broadband reside in rural areas or on tribal lands.

©2018 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.) Distributed by Trbune Content Agency, LLC.