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Posts tagged: Rural Utilities Service

USDA Utilities Administrator Announces Support to Improve Electric Service and Provide Smart Grid Technology to Thousands of Colorado Residents

Jonathan Adelstein, USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Administrator joined Colorado Rural Development Director Jim Isgar and representatives from Colorado’s congressional delegation for a ceremonial presentation at Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, Inc. in Windsor, Colorado.

The entity was recently awarded a $43 million Rural Electric Loan to connect 2,069 new consumers while building 54 miles of new distribution line.  The funding is a win-win project for the co-op, the consumers are helped by offering a better and more reliable product and the co-op will be able to increase efficiency.  The loan will allow the entity to make improvements to 186 miles of distribution lines.   The project also includes $6.7 million in smart grid technologies, which will be used for technology, such as advanced metering and can provide data to consumers and utilities to better manage power use and costs. Read more »

Broadband: The Linchpin of the Future for Rural Economies

I was honored to host a panel last week at the Department of Agriculture’s Ag Outlook Forum to showcase the impact of USDA broadband programs on so many in rural communities. Our February 25th Rural Development panel, “Building a Stronger Rural Infrastructure: Broadband,” portrayed the ripple effect these investments have.

We heard from Luis Reyes, CEO of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, which has provided electric power to consumers since WWII. They got into the broadband business because they recognized a need. Like many with a sense of community and knowledge of how broadband affects economic development, they successfully applied for Recovery Act broadband funding from USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency. “This will ultimately change the landscape of New Mexico,” Luis told the audience. “This is an opportunity for us to partner with colleges, health care facilities and the community to expand businesses, hire more employees, build markets and improve healthcare. To think that a small co-op in New Mexico can turn a project into a model program nationwide is exciting.” Read more »

Promise of Broadband Expansion Coming True

Plowing fiber optic cable in Northwest Kansas. (Photo courtesy of Rural Telephone)

Plowing fiber optic cable in Northwest Kansas. (Photo courtesy of Rural Telephone)

In the days of the Great Depression, the National Recovery Act had as part of its focus the development of rural America. The primary initiatives of that era were development of electrical and telephone systems throughout the nation. Read more »

USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Participates in the 75th Anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in Nebraska

Pictured from the left are Reverend Clark Bates and wife, USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Jessica Zufolo and former Administrator Chris McLean.

Pictured from the left are Reverend Clark Bates and wife, USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Jessica Zufolo and former Administrator Chris McLean.

Jessica Zufolo, deputy administrator for the USDA Rural Utilities Service, was a guest speaker at the 75th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) celebration in McCook, Nebraska late last month.  Also attending were USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, Colorado State Director Jim Isgar, and former Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service Chris McLean along with more than 100 attendees.  McLean is a former Nebraskan. Read more »

New Mexico Broadband & Smart Grid Summit Working to Overcome Digital Divide and Harness Broadband Technologies

Earlier today at the New Mexico Broadband and Smart Grid Summit in Moriarty, I had the opportunity to tell policymakers, issue experts and industry leaders about Rural Utilities programs (RUS) that are contributing to creating economic opportunity and increasing energy independence through broadband and smart grid deployment.  

Others speaking at the event included: National Telecommunications and Information Administration Deputy Administrator Anna Gomez, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and Federal Smart Grid Task Force Director Eric Lightner.   Together and with participants at the event, we opened a dialogue to help inform on future policy decisions regarding these important issues and the challenges we face in meeting them. Read more »

Wisconsin Utilities Receive Recovery Act Support to Bring Broadband to Three Counties

Written by Kelly Edwards Wisconsin USDA Public Information Coordinator

Today too few rural citizens are able to take advantage of the opportunities broadband provides.  With broadband becoming increasingly critical for economic growth and information accessibility needs, rural counties and cities are beginning to take the initiative to develop local and regional broadband networks on their own. Read more »