On January 30, 2020, the funding application window opened for a second round of $550 million in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Reconnect Pilot Program funding appropriated by Congress.
As an example of how the program works, the Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton, Iowa, received $6.4 million in first-round Reconnect Pilot Program funding to connect 477 households, 35 farms and 21 businesses in Montgomery and Page counties.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said, “Iowa is home to creative entrepreneurs who are driving technological innovation across the heartland. By leveraging local, state and federal resources, we are investing like never before in broadband connectivity and sparking revitalization across rural Iowa. I appreciate Secretary Perdue for being here today to represent the Trump Administration’s unwavering commitment to growing all aspects of rural America.”
USDA will make available up to $200 million for grants, up to $200 million for 50/50 grant/loan combinations, and up to $200 million for low-interest loans. The application window for this round of funding opened Jan. 31, 2020. Applications for all funding products will be accepted in the same application window, which will close no later than March 16, 2020.
“This second round of ReConnect funding will help USDA be an even stronger partner in closing the digital divide in America’s rural communities,” Secretary Perdue said.
“Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity through boosting economic opportunity in rural America. We know that rural communities need robust, modern infrastructure to thrive, and that includes having access to broadband e-Connectivity. …USDA is proud to partner with rural communities to deploy this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives,” he concluded.
Photo of downtown Stanton, Iowa is by Jared Winkler via Wikipedia.