Biden-Harris Administration partners with local organizations, cooperatives and Tribes to support high-speed Internet deployment

(KINY) – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small announced that USDA is partnering with rural cooperatives, local organizations and Tribes to support high-speed internet deployment in 11 states.

USDA is awarding $5.2 million in cooperative agreements through the Broadband Technical Assistance Program, which is funded through President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

This funding will extend the reach of other high-speed internet programs to meet the Administration’s goal to connect every community in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed internet. It also reflects the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, a key pillar of Bidenomics, to rebuild the economy from the middle out and bottom up and strengthen the nation’s infrastructure.

Deputy Secretary Torres Small made the announcement at the Texas Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Conference in McAllen, Texas.

“Keeping the people of rural America connected with reliable, high-speed internet brings new and innovative ideas to the rest of our country,” Deputy Secretary Torres Small said. “Through President Biden’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, USDA is partnering with small towns, cooperatives, local utilities and private companies working to ensure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet. That’s how you grow the economy – not just in rural communities, but across the nation.”

The Broadband Technical Assistance Program provides funding to cooperatives and organizations interested in receiving or delivering broadband technical assistance and training. This program promotes the expansion of high-speed internet into rural and Tribal communities by funding feasibility studies, network designs, hiring efforts, application development assistance and more.

Today’s announcement will help people living in Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.

  • In the Pacific Northwest, the Connecting Alaska Consortium is receiving a $1 million award to deliver technical assistance and training to support planning and engagement, coordinating partnerships, grant-related training, and data collection and reporting. Funding will also support technical assistance and training conferences. The project will be used to promote and expand high-speed internet access in 122 rural and Tribal communities across Alaska.