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USDA invests $46.5 million in high-speed broadband in rural Alaska

The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $46.5 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Alaska.
The Trump Administration today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $46.5 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Alaska.(US Department of Agriculture)
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 1:16 PM AKDT
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WASHINGTON, DC (KTVF) - The Trump Administration announced Tuesday that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $46.5 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Alaska. This investment is part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program.

“The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now – as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come.”

AP&T Wireless Inc. will use a $21.5 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 225 people, 32 businesses, an educational facility, a post office and a fire station to high-speed broadband internet in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska.

Unicom Inc. will use a $25 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 7,441 people, 310 businesses, 10 educational facilities, seven post offices, four fire stations and a city hall to high-speed broadband internet in Kodiak Island Borough, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West Census Area in Alaska.

To learn more about ReConnect Program eligibility, technical assistance and recent announcements, visit www.usda.gov/reconnect.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

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