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.
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 →
The FCC has put out an updated map that identifies census block groups that are eligible for the CAF II Auction (Auction 93). The auction will use competitive building to allocate up to $1.98 billion of support over the next 10 years in high-cost rural areas. Continue reading →
The FCC has released a proposal to put an additional $500 million toward broadband funding. The funding would include $180 million for the current funding year for the nation’s smaller rate-of-return (ROR) and small rural carriers as well as other cooperatives. Continue reading →
On December 29, the U.S. Department of Commerce and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) announced that all 50 States as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virigin Islands have accepted the FirstNet proposals for their state and districts. Continue reading →
Our December 2017 Map of the Month highlights Utah’s statewide “Address Point” map layer — a vital, statewide information asset. The Address Point map layer is a collection of all of the addressed properties in Utah, known to, and shared by county government.
But wait! Don’t go away just yet, as the story and impact of Utah’s Address Points has broad implications and appeal for broadband and beyond. It is, however, appropriate to mention right away that this data asset, at a state-level owes its beginning to the Broadband Outreach Center and the initial state broadband mapping and planning grant efforts led and administered by the Utah Public Service Commission. Continue reading →