TOPEKA, Sept. 22, 2022 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Kansas State Director for Rural Development Christy Davis today announced $6,319,640 in funding for high-speed internet access for rural residents and businesses in eight counties in Kansas and Nebraska. USDA is making the investments through the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. The Department will make additional investments in the coming months with funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which provides a historic $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.
“High-speed internet is essential for success in education, healthcare, and business in the twenty-first century.” Davis said. “Federal funding makes it possible for communications companies, like J. B. N. Telephone, to serve our state’s rural communities.”
USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Xochitl Torres-Small will visit J. B. N. Telephone, 418 W. 5th Street, in Holton on Thursday, September 22 to announce a $6.3 million grant to provide high-speed internet to eight counties in Kansas and Nebraska.
The specifics of this Kansas grant are:
- A $6,319,640 grant will be used to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This network will connect 704 people, 17 businesses, and 225 farms to high-speed internet in Jackson, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Republic, Washington, and Riley counties in Kansas as well as Jefferson and Thayer counties in Nebraska. J.B.N Telephone Company Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs by providing low-income consumers who qualify for a monthly service credit up to $30.
Background: ReConnect Program
To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must serve an area where high-speed internet service speeds are lower than 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). The applicant must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service at speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in its proposed service area.
USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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