The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has received $600 million to fund rural broadband, which was included in the FY2018 Omnibus Spending Package.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today said the funding will help to rebuild America’s infrastructure in rural communities where around 80 percent of the 24 million American households that do not have reliable, affordable high-speed internet reside.
“It is unacceptable that millions of people in rural America currently lack access to reliable broadband,” Secretary Perdue said. “I have travelled extensively across the nation and everywhere I go I have heard how important increased broadband is to rural Americans.”
The Omnibus bill included $600 million in appropriated funding for a new pilot grant and loan combination program, administered by the USDA, to provide broadband to under-served rural and tribal areas. This investment will leverage nearly $1 billion in total new rural broadband projects.
The total FY18 investment in rural communities’ infrastructure through USDA programs will total $13.5 billion.