The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on February 6 that it would extend the application deadlines for its Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect) due to delays caused by the recent partial federal government shutdown. Initial application deadlines were pushed back until May 31, 2019, or later to allow applicants to seek assistance from USDA staff. The agency also announced a new resource guide for rural communities to help match broadband projects to grants, loans, and technical assistance available through USDA.
The ReConnect Program, as previously reported, includes $600 million in new one-time grants and loans for rural broadband development, with a focus on connecting rural residences, farms, and anchor institutions. Qualifying communities will have populations of 20,000 or less and either lack an internet service provider completely or only have access to internet speeds of up to 10 megabits per second (mbps) download and 1 mbps upload.
For more information on the program and to check for more upcoming technical assistance events, visit reconnect.usda.gov.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x121.