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USDA: $550 million available for broadband infrastructure

 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the availability of a second round of $550 million in United States Department of Agriculture Reconnect Pilot Program funding appropriated by Congress.

The application window for this round of funding is set to open Jan. 31, 2020. Secretary Perdue made the announcement Dec. 12 alongside Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in Stanton, Iowa.

 “This second round of ReConnect funding will help USDA be an even stronger partner in closing the digital divide in America’s rural communities,” Secretary Perdue said. “Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America. We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity.”

USDA will make available up to $200 million for grants, up to $200 million for 50/50 grant/loan combinations, and up to $200 million for low-interest loans. Applications for all funding products will be accepted in the same application window, which will close by March 16, 2020.

A full description of 2020 ReConnect Pilot Program funding is available on page 67913 of the Dec. 12, 2019, Federal Register (PDF, 336 KB). To learn more about eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.

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