NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — North Dakota and Montana are sharing $18. 5 million in funding that will provide high-speed internet to rural residents.
The funding is through the Reconnect Program, which was part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, according to USDA.
The money is being distributed to areas where the internet has speeds of less than 100 megabits per second for downloads.
Shane Hart, CEO of the Reservation Telephone Cooperative, or RTC Networks, said providing for rural communities is expensive and without the grant, it wouldn’t be possible to do something like this.
“I can’t stress enough how important programs like Reconnect is with the very large grant component,” said Hart. “Because it is very expensive to serve some of these very rural areas. And it can cost as much as your home infrastructure.”
The Reservation Telephone Cooperative will administer the funds in Richland and Wibaux counties in Montana and in Dunn, McKenzie, and McLean counties in North Dakota, according to the USDA.
An estimated 1,151 residents, 67 businesses, four public schools, and 91 farms will be connected.