The Department of Agriculture Monday announced $152 million in rural broadband development funding to 14 states, including North Carolina. USDA rural development deputy secretary Donald LaVoy says the effort will expand access to essential health, educational, social and business opportunities.
USDA is making the investments through the Community Connect Grant Program, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. USDA says investing in telecommunications infrastructure connects businesses to customers, farmers to markets, and students to a world of knowledge.
As part of the investments, a Rural Development investment will be used to construct a 42.65-mile Fiber-tothe-Premises (FTTP) network passing 347 households located in the Fair Bluff community of Columbus County, NC; a $34 million loan will upgrade fiber connections in Kentucky, benefitting 5,300 customers; andaA $3 million loan will help enhance broadband in southwest Virginia, among others.
The funds are part of the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity effort by President Donald Trump. A complete list of funded projects is available online at visit www.rd.usda.gov.