Biden-Harris Administration Announces $401 Million for High-Speed Internet Access in Rural Areas - Funding Will Provide High-Speed Internet Access to 31,000 People and Businesses in 11 States Including Five Projects in Rural New Mexico
WASHINGTON, July 28, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $401 million to provide access to high-speed internet for 31,000 rural residents and businesses in 11 states, part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in rural infrastructure and affordable high-speed internet for all. This announcement includes a group of investments from the ReConnect Program, and an award funded through USDA’s Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee program.
The Department will make additional investments for rural high-speed internet later this summer, including ReConnect Program funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.
“Connectivity is critical to economic success in rural America,” Vilsack said. “The internet is vital to our growth and continues to act as a catalyst for our prosperity. From the farm to the school, from households to international markets, connectivity drives positive change in our communities. The investments I am announcing today will help 31,000 people and businesses in large and diverse regions across the country access new and critical opportunities. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA knows rural America is America’s backbone, and prosperity here means prosperity for all.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Patricia Dominguez added, “USDA Rural Development is the only federal agency that focuses solely on the needs of rural residents, businesses and communities. That’s why this funding announcement for these broadband and communication projects is so important for underserved communities here in New Mexico.”
USDA is supporting high-speed internet investments in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas through today’s announcement. Several awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands and those in socially vulnerable communities.
The projects announced today here in New Mexico are:
To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit www.rd.usda.gov or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.
Background: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law President Biden forged consensus and compromise between Democrats, Republicans and Independents to demonstrate our democracy can deliver big wins for the American people. After decades of talk on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, President Biden delivered the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – a historic investment in America that will change people’s lives for the better and get America moving again.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $65 billion to ensure every American has access to affordable, reliable high-speed internet through a historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The legislation also lowers costs for internet service and helps close the digital divide, so that more Americans can make full use of internet access. USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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Updates from the New Mexico Office of Broadband Access and Expansion (OBAE) with Input from communities, broadband advocates, and stakeholders around the state.