Program Spreads Broadband Access

The first round of Recovery Act funding — to the tune of $4 billion — will expand broadband access into unserved and underserved areas. What will rural communities gain?

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden announced on July 1 the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to unserved and underserved communities across America. The funding is expected to help bridge the technological divide and create jobs building out Internet infrastructure.

The Recovery Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to accelerate broadband deployment in areas of the country that have been without the high-speed infrastructure. Of that funding, NTIA will utilize $4.7 billion to deploy broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas in the U.S., expand public computer center capacity, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. RUS will invest $2.5 billion to facilitate broadband deployment in rural communities.

"The Department of Agriculture’s Broadband Initiatives Program will bring high-speed Internet service to communities across the country, create thousands of jobs, and improve economic, healthcare, and educational opportunities available in rural communities," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who joined Biden at the announcement made at Erie, PA’s Seneca High School. "This funding is a down payment on the President’s commitment to bring the educational and economic benefits of the Internet to all communities."

"The Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program will reach the last frontiers of America’s information landscape, and the investments it makes in inner-city neighborhoods and rural communities will spur innovation and pave the way for private capital to follow," added Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. "This first wave of funding will help create jobs, jumpstart additional investment, and provide model projects that can better inform our national broadband strategy."

NTIA and RUS will be accepting applications for loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to be awarded by each agency under a single application form. This collaborative approach will ensure that the agencies’ activities are complementary and integrated, make the best use of taxpayer funds and make it easier for applicants to apply for funding. This is the first of three rounds of funding the Agriculture and Commerce Departments will provide.

Vice President Biden added that Commerce and USDA officials will host public workshops in July to share information about the funding availabilities and the application process. Forums will be held in Boston, MA, Charleston, WV; Minneapolis, MN; Memphis, TN; Lonoke, AK.; Birmingham, AL; Billings, MT; Albuquerque, NM; and Los Angeles, CA.

Applications will be accepted beginning July 14, 2009, through 5 p.m. EDT on Aug. 14, 2009. The complete details of this Notice of Funding Availability are available at www.broadbandusa.gov.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17, 2009.

More information about efforts regarding the Recovery Act is available at www.usda.gov/recovery, www.commerce.gov/recovery, and www.recovery.gov.
 

Leave a Reply

Latest News
Andersons Retail Store
UncategorizedThe Andersons To Close All Retail Stores; Shutdown Does…
January 16, 2017
In a stunning announcement to the Toledo area, The Andersons Inc. said on Sunday that it would close its two Read More
Trimble TMX-2050 In-Cab Display
Eric SfiligojPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 16, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Corn
Eric SfiligojThe Mood From Madison? In A Holding Pattern
January 16, 2017
Last week, I had the chance to attend the annual Wisconsin AgriBusiness Classic show in Madison, WI. It’s been a Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsAccenture Helps Syngenta Transform Its Global Logistics
January 13, 2017
Syngenta, a leading agriculture company, has collaborated with Accenture to design and implement a new digital logistics operating model across Read More
Fall Creek Seth Harden The Nature Conservancy
StewardshipLocal Farmers’ Watershed Initiative: Continuous Improve…
January 13, 2017
The goal in the Big Pine Watershed Project is to more intentionally do what local farmers and responsible ag retailers Read More
HerbicidesEPA Expands Enlist Duo Herbicide Registration To 34 Sta…
January 13, 2017
The U.S. EPA has expanded the geography for application of Enlist Duo herbicide from 15 to 34 states. This means Read More
Olson Ag Enterprise
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires Nebraska Seed Retailer
January 13, 2017
Wilbur-Ellis’ Agribusiness, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed and nutritional Read More
ManagementDeere-Precision Planting Update and the Ag Secretary Wa…
January 12, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj provide the latest on the court date for John Deere/Precision Planting and the quest Read More
Monsanto sign
Seed/BiotechMonsanto, NRGene Form Agreement For Big Data Genomic An…
January 12, 2017
Monsanto Co. and NRGene have announced that the companies have reached a non-exclusive, multi-year global licensing agreement on NRGene’s genome-analysis Read More
AGCO Custom applicator
SprayersAGCO, Asmark Institute To Offer Training For Beginning …
January 11, 2017
AGCO Corp. and the Asmark Institute are collaborating to offer a new training program dedicated to educating and developing custom Read More
ManagementAg Land Values In Limbo In 2017
January 10, 2017
Several factors will come into play in 2017 that will determine the direction of land values. Randy Dickhut, senior vice Read More
Industry NewsPattison Agriculture Positioned To Be Leading Canadian …
January 10, 2017
Pattison Agriculture Limited (Pattison Agriculture), a division of The Jim Pattison Group (the Pattison Group), has announced the merger of Read More
Fertilizer Tender close-up
MicronutrientsHow Micronutrients Fit Into 2017 Fertility Plans
January 10, 2017
Where do micronutrients stand going forward in fertility plans? For one thing, Tim Mundorf, Field Representative with Midwest Laboratories, says Read More
Fertilizer application
State of the IndustryCautious Optimism On Fertilizer In 2017
January 10, 2017
What kind of fertilizer rates are growers and retailers looking at in 2017 and beyond? According to stakeholders CropLife magazine Read More
Asmus Farm Supply crop protection products in storage
State of the IndustryCrop Protection Products Market: Complexity Begets Oppo…
January 10, 2017
While other key market segments in agriculture continue to see tumultuous shifts in sales volumes going forward (large equipment sales are Read More
RoGator RG1300B AGCO
Sprayers10 Sprayers That Will Showcase The Latest Application T…
January 10, 2017
Sprayer manufacturers continue to step up their games with the latest in application technology. From direct injection systems and four-wheel Read More
Soybean Field
FungicidesGrowers Report Yield Boost, Extended Residual Disease C…
January 9, 2017
With the new growing season around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about inputs for 2017. As growers weigh Read More
Donald Trump
Eric SfiligojTrump’s New Ag Secretary Coming Soon?
January 9, 2017
As agricultural experts are quick to point out, incoming President Donald Trump largely has the nation’s growers to thank for Read More