Additional $759 million investment in rural internet

Funding through the third round of USDA’s ReConnect Program provides 49 awards across 24 U.S. states.

Rachel Schutte, Content Producer

October 27, 2022

2 Min Read
person holding laptop in the field

In 2018, USDA introduced the ReConnect Program, which has invested over $1 billion to date to expand high-speed broadband infrastructure in unserved rural areas and tribal lands.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department is providing $759 million to bring high-speed internet access to people living and working across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Palau.

“People living in rural towns across the nation need high-speed internet to run their businesses, go to school and connect with their loved ones,” Vilsack said. “USDA partners with small towns, local utilities and cooperatives, and private companies to increase access to high-speed internet so people in rural America have the opportunity to build brighter futures.”

The $759 million in loans and grants include funding from the Infrastructure Law and come from the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. Projects funded by today’s announcement include:

  • North Carolina’s Access On Networks Inc. is receiving a $17.5 million grant to connect thousands of people, 100 businesses, 76 farms and 22 educational facilities to high-speed internet in Halifax and Warren counties.

  • Tekstar Communications is receiving a $12.6 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect thousands of people, 171 farms, 103 businesses and an educational facility to high-speed internet in Douglas, Otter Tail, St. Louis, Stearns and Todd counties in Minnesota. 

  • In Colorado, the Eastern Slope Rural Telephone Association is receiving an $18.7 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network connecting thousands of people, 898 farms, 110 businesses and 17 educational facilities to high-speed internet in Adams, Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Crowley, Elbert, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln and Washington counties.

USDA is making 49 awards in 24 states, and many of the awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands.

To date in 2022, USDA has announced $1.6 billion in ReConnect funding for 101 projects. Previous announcements include:

  • $356 million for projects in 11 states in July

  • $502 million for projects in 20 states in September

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, visit or contact the nearest USDA Rural Development state office.

Source: USDA

About the Author(s)

Rachel Schutte

Content Producer, Farm Futures

Rachel grew up in central Wisconsin and earned a B.S. in soil and crop science from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. Before joining the Farm Futures team, Rachel spent time in the field as an agronomist before transitioning to the world of marketing and communications. She now resides in northeast Iowa where she enjoys raising bottle calves and farming corn and soybeans alongside her husband and his family.

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