USDA Grants $5.2M for Rural & Tribal Broadband Projects in 11 States

USDA Grants $5.2M for Rural & Tribal Broadband Projects in 11 States

The USDA has just announced allocating $5.2 million to enhance internet access in rural areas across 11 states, aiding 14 cooperatives in deploying high-speed connectivity.

Broadband Technical Assistance Program will make the funding for one or more projects like Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.

Among these, the rural cooperatives that will be receiving grants are: The Connecting Alaska Consortium, City of Chevak, South Central Alabama Broadband Cooperative District, IBT Group USA, LLC, County of Shoshone, Pueblo of Jemez, Pueblo of Laguna Utility Authority, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Ciomperlik Enterprises, LLC, Generation West Virginia, Imagine Idaho Foundation Inc, The Curators of the University of Missouri, Communities Unlimited, and South Central Economic Development District, Inc.

The Broadband Technical Assistance Program is designed to facilitate the extension of high-speed internet access into rural and Tribal communities.

This will provide comprehensive support, spanning from feasibility studies and network designs to hire and application development assistance.

The main objective is to bridge the digital divide and empower these underserved areas with crucial connectivity infrastructure.

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said, “Keeping the people of rural America connected with reliable, high-speed internet brings new and innovative ideas to the rest of our country.” He further added, “USDA is partnering with small towns, cooperatives, local utilities, and private companies working to ensure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet. That’s how you grow the economy — not just in rural communities, but across the nation.”

USDA Grants $5.2M for Rural & Tribal Broadband Projects in 11 States
USDA Grants $5.2M for Rural & Tribal Broadband Projects in 11 States

As per last week’s news, NTIA said that it had received around 160 applications amounting to $2.64 billion. However, the program is said to be oversubscribed as the budget is only $980 million for this round of funding.

Upon the application received, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson said, “The number of applications for our Tribal connectivity program shows that demand remains high for quality internet service in Indian Country.”

However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also released four examples of the funding in action:

  • In Texas, Ciomperlik Enterprises LLC is receiving $126,570 to help expand high-speed internet access in 10 communities across Duval, Frio, Jim Hogg, La Salle, and Zavala counties. The award will support reports, feasibility studies, financial forecasts, market surveys, environmental studies, and technical design.
  • In Missouri, the University of Missouri Curators are getting $191,038 to aid community planning and conduct a broadband economic analysis study, an environmental study, and a technical design study in Carter and Shannon counties.
  • Alaska’s Connecting Alaska Consortium is receiving a hefty $1 million to provide technical assistance and training for planning and engagement, coordinating partnerships, grant-related training, and data collection and reporting. The funding will also support technical assistance and training conferences, all aimed at promoting and expanding high-speed internet access in 122 rural and Tribal communities.
  • In Alabama, the South Central Alabama Broadband Cooperative District is being awarded $820,000 to conduct community needs assessments, project planning, grant assistance, construction planning and engineering, and federal resource management and oversight in 45 communities across 15 counties.

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Eliana Cooper

Eliana Cooper is an esteemed editor at World-Wire, recognized for her expertise in sports and government news. With a background in Journalism and Political Science, she excels in delivering in-depth and factual reporting. Her work is known for its thorough research and clear presentation, making complex topics accessible. Eliana's contributions have earned her recognition, including the "Excellence in Sports Journalism" award in 2023.

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