Syracuse, NY, Apr 11, 2012 -- Today, USDA Rural Development (RD) Deputy Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service Program, Jessica Zufolo joined Congressman Chris Gibson for a Rural Broadband Symposium in Catskill NY. The purpose of the Symposium was to bring together broadband providers, government officials, anchor institution representatives and civic leaders interested in the expansion of quality broadband service to un-served areas.
“Expansion of modern broadband service is essential for rural America to be able to access Web-based information and services that will allow rural communities to compete in the global economy and offer the quality of life necessary to attract and retain residents and businesses,” said Bryan Clerkin, USDA RD Acting State Director. The USDA’s Rural Broadband Loan Program is administered by the Rural Utilities Service of USDA RD. The program funds the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide broadband service to eligible rural areas on a technology-neutral basis.
As a result of the districts’ growing interest in broadband, Gibson created the Congressman’s Broadband Guide for Symposium attendees. Congressman Gibson states in the Guide, “I have travelled the 137 towns throughout the 20th Congressional District, much of which is rural, I have heard from a number of people who have asked for help bring broadband service to un-served areas. Broadband is an essential tool in the 21st Century for all walks of life. This symposium has been created to bring leaders together for a productive and positive discussion to try and find solutions.”
Since taking office, President Obama’s Administration has taken historic steps to improve the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities. From proposing the American Jobs Act to establishing the first-ever White House Rural Council – chaired by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack – the President is committed to a smarter use of existing Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to deliver programs in a way that will support increasing economic opportunity and improve the quality of life of rural residents. As a venture capital entity, Rural Development provides equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. Further information on rural programs is available by visiting Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ny.