During his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Obama outlined a vision for the future that calls on America to “Out innovate, out educate, and out build the rest of the world.” A crucial contributor to this effort, as the President recognized, is rural broadband. USDA is funding the deployment of broadband systems across the country, and we want to help your community as well.
With support from Congress, the Obama Administration, through the efforts of USDA’s Rural Utilities Service has, over the last two years, awarded investments that will enable an estimated seven million Americans to access new or improved broadband services. Broadband allows recipients access to a myriad of opportunities. Farmers can get real time information about commodity prices and weather, students can receive special services or individual tutoring, medical staff can assist patients remotely, and small businesses on one coast can directly sell to customers across the country, or around the world.
New, fast, broadband services are being deployed to support communities as remote as the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in the upper Midwest, to southwest Alaska. These systems will help eliminate the barrier of distance no matter where you live — allowing you to access to education, health care and business opportunities, and allowing you to succeed more easily no matter what your physical address.
As important as our accomplishments are to date, we really are just getting started. USDA has funding available to support communities, cooperatives and businesses seeking access to quality telecommunications services. We also have programs including Distance Learning and Telecommunications, and Community Connect that can help school districts, clinic operators and public facilities such as libraries, public safety departments and community centers connect to the world wide web.
As the President said in his address, America must rebuild for the 21st Century. A technological revolution has changed the way we live, work and do business. USDA is ready to help you and your community seize the opportunities presented by broadband.