U.S. Department of Agriculture to Help Expand High-Speed Internet Access in Rural Areas

WASHINGTON, June 27th, 2024 – Today, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-Minn.) announced $25 million in funding availability from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase high-speed internet access in rural and Tribal communities. The funding is made available through the USDA’s Broadband Technical Assistance (BTA) Program, part of the Biden Administration’s historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to connect every community in America with affordable, reliable, high-speed internet.

The program will support local governments, organizations, cooperatives, and Tribes as they work to expand broadband access in rural communities, delivering on President Biden’s promise to invest in infrastructure and strengthen the economy from the inside out. This includes funding infrastructure studies, network designs, hiring efforts, application assistance and more.

The announcement marks the second round of funding for the program. In its first round, the program received 96 applications requesting a total of $44.5 million.

In this round, applicants may apply through one of two funding categories: the Technical Assistance Providers category accepts applicants seeking to deliver broadband technical assistance to rural communities; The Technical Assistance Recipients category includes applicants who would benefit from broadband technical assistance.

Applications for the funding opened on June 21, 2024, and must be submitted electronically using Grants.gov no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 20, 2024.