The map shows all broadband projects funded by USDA. The Rural Utilities Service is helping to expand broadband in schools across the country.
Nearly 2,000 rural schools with more than 550,000 students will receive new or improved high-speed Internet service as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Recovery-funded Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).
While the majority of BIP awards are intended to expand or improve broadband service throughout entire rural communities, including households and businesses, USDA says more than 300 K-12 schools in rural areas currently not served by broadband at all will benefit from the 126 recently announced awards, which total $1.2 billion and will affect 34 states and three Native American Tribal lands. An estimated 82,000 students in will be getting access to high-speed Internet service for the first time.
Award recipients are mainly small communications companies that will perform the work locally. For instance, Montana Opticom, which received $64 million in Recovery funding, operates in the Big Sky region of the state and will deliver broadband service to a 153-square-mile area that includes 15 schools as well as two institutions of higher education, a library, nine public safety organizations, 11 medical and healthcare facilities, six public housing complexes, six local government facilities, and eight community support organizations.
The latest round of BIP awards brings the total announced by USDA to 231 awards, totaling approximately $2.5 billion of Recovery funds. The agency expects to announce a final round of awards in the coming weeks.
USDA Broadband Initiatives Program
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