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One More Tool to Help Bring Broadband to Rural America

A Pine Net worker standing near a broadband tower that is part of the upgrade for the communications and broadband systems throughout the area with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Broken Bow, OK

A Pine Net worker stands near a broadband tower that is part of the upgrade for the communications and broadband systems throughout the area with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Broken Bow, OK. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

“What can I do to bring broadband to my rural community?” That’s a question a lot of people from rural communities are asking, and it’s good to know that now there is one more way to help those without a rural broadband plan to bring high-speed internet service to their homes and businesses.

Communities interested in using broadband service to help revitalize small-town main streets and promote economic development are encouraged to apply for Cool & Connected, a pilot program sponsored by USDA’s Rural Utilities Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Sustainable Communities. Through Cool & Connected, a team of experts will help community members develop strategies and an action plan for using planned or existing broadband service to promote smart, sustainable community development.

This is a great opportunity for a small-town to receive technical assistance for revitalizing small town main streets by using planned or existing broadband Service.  Quality broadband access can provide new opportunities for people and businesses.

Broadband increases access to markets, opens doors to educational opportunities, expands access to health care and connects people to a world of social media and entertainment. Since 2009, USDA has awarded almost $6.7 billion for 550 projects to improve telecommunications in rural communities. This includes $2.9 billion under the Recovery Act to build 254 successful projects that can offer broadband access to nearly 6 million people across rural America.

Now, communities without the planning expertise to make rural broadband a reality can get assistance.

For details, click on the Cool & Connected link, then submit your letter of interest to Ed Fendley at fendley.ed@epa.gov by Wednesday, February 24, 2016. Kindly include Cool & Connected and the name of your community in your e-mail subject line.

One Response to “One More Tool to Help Bring Broadband to Rural America”

  1. christine says:

    It is very sad to be living in 2016 and communities do not have access to broadband. I really do not understand how or why this is even happening. I know that local politics play a role in this, but come on. We want our children, no matter where they live to have the same opportunities as other children living in the larger cities. I have to pay out of pocket huge amounts of money to have internet for my child. It is fortunate that I can do it, but there is times it is a huge financial burden to pay it. You can not accomplish hardly anything without internet access. This country should be ashamed of itself, for something like this, in some parts of this country it is still 3 world living.

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