USDA Rural Development will begin accepting the first round of applications for the Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) on April 23, 2019, through usda.gov/reconnect.
In March 2018, Congress provided $600 million to USDA to expand broadband infrastructure and services in rural America. USDA is making available up to $200 million in grants, $200 million in loan and grant combinations, and$200 million in low-interest loans. The application deadlines are:
• May 31, 2019, for grants;
• June 21, 2019, for loan/grant combinations; and
• July 12, 2019, for low-interest loans.
Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers andmunicipalities may apply for funding through USDA’s ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. Funds will be awarded to projects that have financially sustainable business models that will bring high-speed broadband to rural homes, businesses, farms, ranches and community facilities such as first responders, health care sites and schools.
The Map highlights the Utah Education and Telehealth Network’s 2017 Utah School Technology Study. The study was first conducted in 2015 and the two data sets can be compared to highlight the progress made by school districts over the past two years. Continue reading →
On February 22, 2018 the Federal Communications Commission updated the National Broadband Map, replacing the original map that was released seven years ago by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The current map also has the ability to overlay satellite imagery. The map is currently using data collected in December 2016 based on Form 477 filings that broadband providers must make with the FCC. Continue reading →
The Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) held its fourth meeting January 23rd and 24th. The working groups/subcommittees presented reports and recommendation for best practice and language on updated broadband-related code. Continue reading →
Public Officials in Richmond, Virginia are testing the FirstNet’s public safety wireless network, as of last month. Richmond and Fairfax counties are the first localities in Virginia that will be using the network. This move to use the network will hopefully prompt the system to be in full use by the end of 2018. Continue reading →
The FCC has just released the final Order in the Federal Register to eliminate Net Neutrality. The Repeal will take place on April 23rd with further changes will happen after that date. Continue reading →
Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development at the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that there will be a regulation improvement for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program. Continue reading →