The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that $74.8 million in telecom loans and $11 million in Community Connect grants will enhance broadband access for Americans living in the rural areas of seven states.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack specified that South Carolina, Montana and Wisconsin will receive telecommunications loans. Alaska, Oklahoma and Virginia will reap the benefits of Community Connect grants. Minnesota will receive both grants and telecom loans from the USDA.
"Broadband is fundamental to expanding economic opportunity and job creation in rural areas, and it is as vital to rural America's future today as electricity was when USDA began bringing power to rural America 80 years ago," said Vilsack. "The investments USDA is making today will deliver broadband to rural communities that are currently without high-speed internet service, or whose infrastructure needs to be upgraded.”
John Deere Managers Support Broadband
Back in October 2014, John Deere managers congregated at the Clear Meadow Farm in Maryland to advocate for broadband in the agricultural industry. The managers argued that broadband saves professionals time, money and natural resources.
With broadband connections, workers can make calls from data monitors to grant remote access to other farmers and equipment dealers.
In August 2014, the USDA awarded $40 million in loans to rural portions of Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas for broadband services.
"Broadband is essential to the economic strength of rural communities," Vilsack said. "It improves access to education and quality health care, and it leads to new jobs and business opportunities.