ND receives $8.7 million to strengthen rural broadband and Native American tourism

State News

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $167 million in 12 states to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas, North Dakota included.

This means parts of rural North Dakota will soon have more access to high-speed internet.

Three projects were identified in this round of the ReConnect Program that will take place in the near future:

  • $3,944,111 grant to Polar Communications to install a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural North Dakota.
  • $2,380,882 loan and a $2,380,882 grant to the Halstad Telephone Company to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural North Dakota.
  • $52,648 grant to Strengthen, ND to help grow Native American businesses involved in providing tourism and travel related products and services.

The investments announced Wednesday are part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program as well as other funds made available for the program since 2018.

USDA’s ReConnect Program provides loans and grants to construct, improve or acquire facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.

USDA expects to begin inviting applications for a third round of program funds in the coming weeks.

These investments will also benefit rural people in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

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