WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration continues its push to invest in high-speed internet in rural areas. The ReConnect program received its fourth round of funding, with the goal to connect everyone in the country to high-speed internet by 2030.
“22 states and also the Marshall Islands and it’s going to reach some of the most rural places throughout the country,” USDA’s Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small said.
Small says the nearly $700 million investment will help kids learn, keep seniors safe, and grow small businesses.
“Sometimes that’s through small rural electric cooperatives, sometimes that’s through telecos and it’s all working to reach the most rural parts of the country,” Small said.
Small says this investment is expanding the country’s infrastructure while creating good-paying jobs and lowering costs.
“It’s not just about having the technology, it’s also about it being affordable,” Small said.
The grant program also ensures low-income Americans can afford access.
“For each of the grants that are awarded through ReConnect, they also have to participate in the affordable connectivity program, which provides subsidized coverage for folks who need it,” Small said.
Small says despite the challenges in many rural areas, nationwide connectivity by 2030 is still the goal, and internet companies will update residents when faster internet is available in their area.