USDA Invests $4.4 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Georgia County

The solution area includes 2,159 households, 25 pre-subscribed companies, two critical community facilities, an academic center and 24 pre-subscribed farms, including 22 chicken farms

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural developing Georgia State Director Joyce White announced a $4.4 million investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure. This investment will offer the construction of 90 kilometers of fiber-optic infrastructure in Gilmer County. The solution area includes 2,159 households, 25 pre-subscribed organizations, two critical community facilities, an academic facility and 24 pre-subscribed farms, including 22 chicken farms. This broadband investment shall fortify the chicken industry in north Georgia. This might be one of the many funding announcements within the round that is first of ReConnect Pilot system investments.

“We are really proud to partner with Ellijay Telephone business to grow broadband access,” White stated. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has made deploying this critical infrastructure across rural America a premier concern, because we realize whenever rural America flourishes, most of America flourishes.”

The Ellijay Telephone Company (ETC), started in 1903, is a technology frontrunner in Gilmer, Fannin, Cherokee and Pickens counties in north Georgia. It gives cable tv, phone, protection solutions and broadband solutions for company, commercial and domestic members.

Background:

In March 2018, Congress offered $600 million to USDA to grow broadband infrastructure and see for yourself the website solutions in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Secretary Perdue announced the guidelines associated with the program, called “ReConnect,” including exactly how the loans and funds would be granted to simply help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. USDA received 146 applications between might 31, 2019, and July 12, 2019, requesting $1.4 billion in capital across all three ReConnect Program money items: 100 % loan, 100 % grant, and loan-grant combinations. USDA is reviewing applications and announcing authorized projects on a rolling basis. Extra assets in every three groups should be manufactured in the coming days.

These funds, loans and combination funds make it possible for the government that is federal partner because of the personal sector and rural communities to construct contemporary broadband infrastructure in areas with inadequate online sites. Insufficient service is described as connection speeds of lower than 10 megabits per second (Mbps) down load and 1 Mbps upload.

In 2019, Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced USDA will be making available an additional $550 million in ReConnect funding in 2020 december. USDA can certainly make available as much as $200 million for funds, as much as $200 million for 50/50 grant/loan combinations, or over to $200 million for low-interest loans. The applying screen because of this round of financing will start Jan. 31, 2020. Applications for several capital items should be accepted within the exact same application window, that will shut on March 16, 2020.

To aid prospective providers using their applications, USDA is hosting assistance that is technical and workshops around the world. To see an updated a number of dates and places, or even to register to go to, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect/events.

A description that is full of ReConnect Pilot Program funding can be obtained on web page 67913 regarding the Dec. 12, 2019, Federal join (PDF, 336 KB). For more information on eligibility, technical assistance and present notices, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to spot legislative, regulatory and policy changes which could market farming and success in rural communities. In 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump january. These findings included 31 tips to align the government that is federal state, neighborhood and tribal governments to make the most of possibilities that exist in rural America. Increasing opportunities in rural infrastructure is a key suggestion regarding the task force.

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