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USDA Announces Recipients Of Community Connect Grants


Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner today announced the selection of 19 grants in 13 states and American Somoa of $10.3 million in broadband community connect grants.

“The Community Connect program serves rural communities where broadband service is least likely to be available, but where it can make a tremendous difference in the quality of life for citizens,” Conner said. “The projects funded by these grants will help rural residents tap into the enormous potential of the internet.”

For example, USDA Rural Development awarded EcliptixNet Broadband Inc., an $834,881 grant to deliver broadband service in Marcus, Wash., and provide firefighters access to training videos and reports. The Horizon-Chillicothe Telephone Company, in Darbyville, Ohio, was selected for a $603,200 grant to build a community center and computer lab. When complete, the facility will offer high-speed internet access to universities and medical centers across the state. In Navaho Mountain, Utah, the Smith Bagley, Inc., a CellularOne company, will use a grant of $205,416 to build a wireless network for this isolated community whose nearest hospital is more than 100 miles away. The grant is expected to fund 10 computers that will offer online public safety notices, educational opportunities and telemedicine services to the Navajo Mountain community.

USDA Rural Development’s mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development has invested more than $76.8 billion since 2001 for equity and technical assistance to finance and foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure. More than 1.5 million jobs have been created or saved through these investments. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA’s web site at .


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