USDA Invests $4.4 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Georgia County

USDA Invests $4.4 Million in Rural Broadband Infrastructure in Georgia County

The service area includes 2,159 households, 25 pre-subscribed companies, two critical community facilities, an educational center and 24 pre-subscribed farms, including 22 chicken farms

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural developing Georgia State Director Joyce White announced a $4.4 million investment in high-speed broadband infrastructure. This investment shall offer the construction of 90 kilometers of fiber-optic infrastructure in Gilmer County. The solution area includes 2,159 households, 25 pre-subscribed companies, two community that is critical, an academic center and 24 pre-subscribed farms, including 22 chicken farms. This broadband investment will bolster the chicken industry in north Georgia. It is among the many funding announcements within the very first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot system investments.

“We are incredibly proud to partner with Ellijay Telephone business to grow broadband access,” White said. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Perdue, USDA has made deploying this infrastructure that is critical rural America a high concern, because we realize whenever rural America thrives, most of America flourishes.”

The Ellijay Telephone Company (ETC), launched in 1903, is just a technology frontrunner in Gilmer, Fannin, Cherokee and Pickens counties in north Georgia. It includes cable tv, phone, safety solutions and broadband solutions for company, commercial and residential customers.


In March 2018, Congress supplied $600 million to USDA to enhance broadband infrastructure and solutions in rural America. On Dec. 13, 2018, Secretary Perdue announced the guidelines associated with scheduled program, called “ReConnect,” including how the loans and funds will undoubtedly be granted to greatly help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. USDA received 146 applications between May 31, 2019, and July 12, 2019, asking for $1.4 billion in money across all three ReConnect Program money services and products: 100 % loan, 100 percent grant, and loan-grant combinations. USDA is reviewing applications and announcing authorized jobs on a rolling basis. Additional opportunities in every three groups is going to be produced in the weeks that are coming.

These funds, loans and combination funds allow the government that is federal partner utilizing the personal sector and rural communities to create contemporary broadband infrastructure in areas with inadequate online sites. Insufficient service is described as connection rates of lower than 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload.

In December 2019, Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced USDA may be making available one more $550 million in ReConnect financing in 2020. USDA is likely to make available as much as $200 million for funds, as much as $200 million for 50/50 grant/loan combinations, or more to $200 million for low-interest loans. The application form screen with this round of capital shall start Jan. 31, 2020. Applications for several financing services and products will undoubtedly be accepted into the exact same application screen, that may shut on March 16, 2020.

To aid possible providers along with their applications, USDA is hosting assistance that is technical and workshops in the united states. To see an updated set of times and places, or even to register to go to, visit

A full description of 2020 ReConnect Pilot Program funding can be obtained on web web page 67913 associated with the Dec. 12, 2019, Federal enter (PDF, 336 KB). To find out more about eligibility, technical help and current notices, visit

In April 2017, President Donald J. Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to recognize legislative, regulatory and policy modifications that may market farming and success in rural communities. In 2018, Secretary Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump january. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the government that is federal state, neighborhood and tribal governments to make the most of possibilities which exist in rural America. Increasing assets in rural infrastructure is a recommendation that is key of task force.