Originally published: June 9, 2010
Last updated: June 9, 2010 - 5:45pm
Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a report that details how broadband deployment funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) will improve the quality of life of over half a million rural American households. The report also states that broadband awards announced to date will create about 5,000 immediate and direct jobs. The report outlines the projects USDA Rural Development's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is funding under the first round of awards made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP). In the first of two scheduled funding rounds, RUS awarded $1.068 billion for 68 broadband projects in 31 states and one territory.
Three types of projects received awards:
- Last-mile remote projects, which will provide broadband service to households and other users in rural areas located at least 50 miles from the nearest non-rural area.
- Last-mile non-remote projects, which will provide broadband service to households and other users located less than 50 miles from the nearest non-rural area.
- Middle-mile projects, which will provide necessary "backbone" services such as interoffice transport, backhaul, Internet connectivity, or special access to rural areas.
The projects will bring broadband service to an estimated 529,249 households, 92,754 businesses and 3,332 anchor institutions across more than 172,000 square miles - a geographic area approximately the size of the state of California. Community anchors, such as schools, libraries, health care providers, colleges, and critical community facilities, provide essential services for safety, health, education and well-being for area residents. These projects will also provide services to 19 Tribal lands. A second round of successful applicants will be announced later in the 2010 fiscal year.
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Working for Rural Communities
- Funding for 126 Rural Broadband Infrastructure Projects
- Broadband Initiatives Program: 7 Million People Connected; 25,800 Jobs
- Support for Library Facilities Across the Country
- Fiber-to-the-Home Project Wins USDA Broadband Stimulus Award
- RUS Closes First Round of Broadband Stimulus Grants
- USDA Broadband Initiatives Program Round 1 Approved Projects as of February 17, 2010
- Recovery Act: Broadband Programs Are Ongoing, and Agencies' Efforts Would Benefit from Improved Data Quality
- BTOP Grant for Illinois
- Department of Agriculture Announces 11 BIP Awards
- Departments of Agriculture and Commerce Release Schedule for BTOP and BIP Broadband Awards
- Advancing Broadband: A Foundation for Strong Rural Communities
- 22 BIP Projects Announced
- USDA Highlights Rural Broadband Project
- 12 New RUS broadband Stimulus Grants Announced