Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said his agency was making funds available to dramatically expand high-speed internet access, health care and education services for millions of Americans. USDA has $ 1.15 billion to help people in rural communities across the country access high-speed internet. Vilsack says, âFor too long, the digital divide has left too many people living in rural communities behind, unable to compete in the global economy and without access to the services and resources all Americans need. These actions will go a long way in ensuring that people who live or work in rural areas can enjoy the benefits of broadband. He adds that these benefits are many, including access to specialized health care, educational opportunities and the global market. Vilsack adds, âRural people, businesses and communities need affordable, reliable high-speed Internet access and enable them to participate fully in modern society and the economy. USDA will begin accepting applications for loans and grants on November 24. USDA makes the funding available through its ReConnect program.
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting and the American Farm Bureau Federation contributed to this report.