The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Rural Development division opened applications for their most recent round of funding in the ReConnect program, a critical vehicle for expanding broadband internet into rural communities.

Funding from the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act, passed in the fall of 2021, has provided critical boosts of funding to this program which has been equated in scale and importance to the Rural Electrification Act of 1935 which overcame the hurdles of bringing electricity to remotely located homes and communities, cutting the cost in half, including overhead costs, of what private power companies had quoted.

ReConnect provides funding at 100% grant for communities where 90% or more of households lack sufficient access to broadband, as well as for Alaska Native Corporations, Tribal Governments, Colonias, Persistent Poverty Areas and Socially Vulnerable Communities.

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