WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today encouraged Central Virginians to explore the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new online resource guide to support the expansion of high-speed broadband across rural America.
The resource guide, created by the USDA Rural Development Innovation Center, outlines 27 USDA programs that help support broadband development in rural communities. According to the USDA, these programs offer planning, equipment, construction, and research assistance for proposed local e-Connectivity projects. Additionally, these programs can provide resources through grants, loans, and technical support.
The resource guide is free and available online. Click here to view the e-Connectivity toolkit.
“In Central Virginia’s rural areas, a fast and secure internet connection is critical to strengthening our economy, attracting and growing businesses, and ensuring opportunity for our community members, be they entrepreneurs establishing their businesses or students completing their homework. But too often, it can be a struggle to establish and maintain reliable access,” said Spanberger. “This resource guide from the USDA may help our localities as they consider new options for planning, constructing, and strengthening high-speed internet access. While the resources in this toolkit are helpful, I remain committed through my work in Congress, specifically on the House Agriculture Committee, to keep fighting to make broadband internet increasingly available in all of our communities.”
Each year, USDA offers more than $700 million for infrastructure loans that can be used to provide or strengthen broadband access to communities with populations under 5,000.
Last month, Spanberger secured an appointment to serve on the U.S. House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit. On this Subcommittee, Spanberger will focus on agricultural markets, credit, rural electrification, and rural development issues—including expanding rural broadband access in Central Virginia and across rural America.