United States Department
of Agriculture Rural Development
Contact: Alec Lloyd
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Rural Broadband Projects to Bring Economic Opportunity to Communities in 18 States and Territories
Projects Will Improve Communication Infrastructure Across Rural America
WASHINGTON, March 4, 2010 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 22 broadband infrastructure projects to give rural residents in 18 states or territories access to improved economic and educational opportunities. Funding for the projects is being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
These broadband projects will provide rural America access to the tools it needs to attract new businesses, educational opportunities and jobs, Vilsack said. The Obama Administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America is an economic gateway for people, business owners, and key institutions such as libraries, hospitals, public safety buildings and community centers. Broadband is important for rural communities to remain strong in the 21st Century.
In all, more than $254.6 million will be invested in 22 projects. An additional $13.1 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds. Congress provided USDA $2.5 billion in Recovery Act funding to assist applicants to bring broadband services to rural unserved and underserved communities. To date, $895.6 million has been provided to support 55 broadband projects in 29 states or territories.
Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the terms of the loan, grant, or loan/grant agreement.
Michigan had one project approved:
Southwest Michigan Communications: Paw Paw and Antwerp, MI FTTP Project; $4,165,513 loan and $4,165,512 grant. The funding will provide advanced broadband services to the residents in the rural Paw Paw area.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need.
More information about USDA's Recovery Act efforts is available at www.usda.gov/recovery . More information about the Federal government's efforts on the Recovery Act is available at www.recovery.gov .
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