U.S. Funds Broadband In Rural Areas

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (UPI) — The U.S. Agriculture Department says it will provide $103 million to fund 23 projects for broadband services to unserved and underserved rural communities.

“Without broadband, rural communities, agricultural producers and business owners face a substantial challenge,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

“These loans and grants will bring the benefits of broadband, including new educational, business and public health and safety opportunities, to residents living in some of the most remote parts of our nation.”

In June, President Obama signed an executive order establishing the first White House Rural Council, chaired by Vilsack, to create policies to promote economic prosperity and a high quality of life in rural communities, a USDA release said Tuesday.

The new funding for broadband infrastructure will come under the USDA Rural Development Community Connect program.

The Obama Administration has set a goal of modernizing infrastructure to provide broadband access to 10 million rural Americans.

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