Wallaces Farmer

Money will be used to connect 1,984 people, 147 farms and 26 businesses to broadband internet.

October 14, 2020

2 Min Read

USDA is investing $5.4 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Iowa. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.

South Slope Cooperative Telephone Company will use a $2.7 million ReConnect grant and a $2.7 million ReConnect loan to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 1,984 people, 147 farms and 26 businesses to high-speed broadband internet in Iowa and Johnson counties in Iowa.

The ReConnect program is funded by Congress. In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the ReConnect program rules, including how the loans and grants will be awarded to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America.

“USDA supports both farmers and rural communities through investments in farm operations and essential infrastructure,” USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “Broadband is so important to farms, and other businesses as it can help improve the quality of life in rural communities and help grow rural economies.”

Funding announcements

On April 20, 2020, USDA announced it received 172 applications for $1.57 billion in Round Two of the ReConnect Program. The second round enables USDA to implement new solutions to rural connectivity by leveraging financial options with partners. The application window for Round Two closed on April 15.

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In Round One of the ReConnect Program, USDA invested $698 million to bring high-speed broadband e-Connectivity to approximately 167,000 households, 17,000 rural small businesses and farms, and more than 500 health care centers, educational facilities and critical community facilities located in 33 states.

USDA received 11 Round Two ReConnect Program applications that are eligible for the $100 million Congress allocated to the program through the CARES Act.

Source: USDA Rural Development, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

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