Washington, May 04, 2012 --
Dane Henshall (202) 260-0996
USDA Invites Applications for Grants to Provide Broadband Service to Remote Rural Communities
WASHINGTON - May 3, 2012 - - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is accepting applications through the Community Connect Broadband program for grants to provide broadband service to residents of remote, rural communities.
“Ensuring that all Americans have access to reliable broadband is a key part of the Obama Administration’s effort to help create jobs and expand economic opportunities in rural areas,” Vilsack said. “These grants not only are critical for businesses and residents, they also help first responders, educators and health care professionals by providing them with access to broadband service.”
The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens. The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the Internet.
Community Connect grants are made available to the most rural, unserved and economically challenged areas. The funds are used to build broadband infrastructure. Awardees are also required to establish community centers that offer free public access to broadband.
Information on available funding and application requirements are published on page 26241 of the May 3, 2012 Federal Register. More information on Community Connect Grants, including the application guide, can be viewed from the USDA Rural Development website.
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 using Federal resources more efficiently 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 the lead federal agency for rural development needs, USDA Rural Development returned nearly $558 million dollars this past year to rural Wisconsin communities. Funds are used to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technological infrastructures. Further information on USDA Rural Development programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting the web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/wi.