Partners for Rural Impact, Inc. received a $160,000 cooperative agreement from USDA Rural Development’s Rural Placemaking Innovation Challege, announced November 16th. The project will increase eConnectivity rates in Appalachian Kentucky with a focus on the eight counties that are part of the Rural Partners Network – the Kentucky Highlands Community Network.
Working with rural libraries, Partners for Rural Impact, Inc. will work to sync up the libraries’ capacity with the community-level plans for broadband.
Access to high speed internet has come to be recognized as an essential utility service, as important as electricity, for modern social inclusion. This realization has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw students and workers without connectivity left behind in education and workplace modifications.
The Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge is a UDSA Rural Development initiative which provides planning support, technical assistance and training to foster placemaking activities in rural communities to create quality places where people will want to live, work, play and learn. The program also made awards in 2020 and 2021.