USDA to Extend Rural Access to Electricity ($2.5B) and Broadband ($200M)

“From access to health care to workforce training and connection to global markets, broadband is truly a lifeline to prosperity in rural communities” 
Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for the US Dept. of Agriculture

Almost 40 percent of US rural residents and businesses lack the level of broadband service as in urban areas. Good news in our push to bridge the digital divide, recently $207 million in loans and grants have been issued in 13 states in the US to promote development of rural broadband service.

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Electrical infrastructure in rural areas in 27 states received a $2.5B boost: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The loans are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Electric Program. $127M of the total goes to Smart Grid projects for technological enhancements such as metering, substation automation, computer applications, two-way communications and geospatial information systems to help utilities increase the reliability and efficiency of electric power systems.

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