USDA invests 7.9 million in rural broadband for NC families

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NORTH CAROLINA (WNCT) We live in the age of technology but there are still areas in our state that need improvements to their broadband connections, or lack internet access altogether.

The USDA is investing millions of dollars for high-speed broadband infrastructure needs and our state is seeing some of that money.

Wednesday the USDA gave $7.9 million to Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation to help get internet into 4,000 homes in Columbus County.

This money comes to form the ReConnect Program grant.

ReConnect lets the federal government partner with business and rural communities create up to date broadband infrastructure in an area with what’s called insufficient internet services.

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CLINTON, N.C. (WNCT)– The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy announced USDA has invested $23.7 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure that will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for nearly 8,750 rural households in North Carolina.

It is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.

“Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity, and this mission cannot be achieved without addressing the digital divide our rural communities face due to a lack of high-speed broadband internet connection,” LaVoy said. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in deploying this critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”

Star Telephone Membership Corporation of Clinton, N.C., will use ReConnect Program grant funding to deploy a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network capable of simultaneous transmission rates of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) or greater.

The funded service area includes 8,749 households, 19 businesses, 10 educational facilities, and three critical community facilities.

The project will facilitate more access to services and information for local residents, and it will improve the overall quality of life for people in the community.

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