The White House announced $677 million in grants and loans today for high-speed internet service in rural areas of 22 states and the Marshall Islands. With the fourth round of funding, the USDA has put $3.1 billion into 179 rural broadband projects through its ReConnect program in less than two years.
The new farm bill should encourage rural economic development by making high-speed internet widely available and build on historic investments in carbon sequestration, said a group of center-left House Democrats.
The White House announced $714 million in USDA grants and loans to expand access to high-speed internet service in 19 states from South Carolina to California on Monday. With the new round of funding, the USDA has put $2.45 billion into rural broadband through its ReConnect program in the past 18 months.
Three out of four small-business owners in rural America say revenue is back to pre-pandemic levels or stronger than it was before the coronavirus hit, according to a newly released survey. Yet slightly more than half of rural entrepreneurs said they felt somewhat or extremely negative about the economy, said the "Megaphone of Main Street" report.
The Biden administration announced a half a billion dollars in grants and loans for high-speed internet projects in rural areas from Alaska to Alabama on Thursday, with more awards expected soon. The 2021 infrastructure bill set aside billions of dollars for broadband access, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “We now have, genuinely, an opportunity to cover all of rural America.”
The USDA has awarded $401 million in grants and loans to 21 projects in 11 states, from Alaska to Texas, to provide residents and businesses with access to high-speed internet service, announced the Biden administration on Thursday.
A sizable portion of America's largest farmers "are unable to take advantage of many applications and services" on the internet because they don't have a connection or it is of poor quality, said a Purdue University survey released on Tuesday. The gap in access exists at the same time the sector is embracing precision agriculture technology such as GPS guidance of tractors and combines.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday that the USDA would spend up to $1.15 billion to bring high-speed internet services to people living in rural communities. The money would be available in loans and grants to providers who offer service with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second in areas that lack high-speed internet.
Half of the farmers in the biggest corn, soybean, and wheat states employ precision agriculture in their operations — from GPS guidance of tractors and combines to deploying drones to scout fields or monitor livestock — twice the national average, said a USDA report on computer usage on Wednesday. Far more farms have a cellular internet connection than broadband; 18 percent have no internet access at all.
The infrastructure agreement announced by a bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday would expand broadband access to all Americans, according to the White House. An estimated 35 percent of rural families currently lack high-speed internet service.
Projects in 12 states will receive a combined $167 million in USDA grants and loans to deploy broadband infrastructure in parts of rural America lacking sufficient access to high-speed internet service, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday.
On a voice vote, the House Agriculture Committee approved a bill on Wednesday to provide $43 billion over eight years to bring broadband service to hundreds of thousands of families and businesses that lack access now. Chairman David Scott said Democratic leaders were "looking to move this in an expeditious way to the Senate."
The government would spend $50 billion to assure broadband access throughout rural America under a bill sponsored by House Agriculture chairman David Scott, seven times the amount proposed by Republicans on the panel. Scott scheduled a committee vote on his bill for Wednesday. “This bill will …
If a bipartisan infrastructure deal holds, Midwesterners can expect upgrades to roads, bridges and broadband networks, President Biden said on Tuesday in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. "There is no gas tax (increase)," he said. "Working families have already paid enough."
President Biden said the $1.2-trillion infrastructure package negotiated with senators on Wednesday will "deliver high-speed internet to every American home" as well as repairing or rebuilding roads and bridges nationwide.
President Biden chose former Rep Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico to serve as agriculture undersecretary for rural development, overseeing a portfolio of $43 billion in housing, utilities and business and industry programs. Congress overrode a Trump-era reorganization of USDA to re-create the Senate-confirmed post in 2018.
Republicans on the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday proposed a three-year program with $7.35 billion in funding to bring broadband access to rural America. The bill would focus on the most remote and least served areas.
President Biden proposed stricter application of capital gains taxes, potentially generating billions of dollars in federal revenue, on Wednesday by restricting use of the decades-old "stepped-up basis" that reduces liability on inherited property. Although the White House said it would not increase taxes on heirs who want to keep the family farm running, the largest U.S. farm group was skeptical that the protection could be fashioned into law.