broadbandIn its ongoing effort to hel develop broadband in rural communities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced what it is calling an “e-connectivity toolkit” to help support connectivity.

The e-Connectivity Toolkit includes details on 27 different USDA programs that support broadband deployment. The resource is intended as a simple guide that enables users to properly identify their type of e-Connectivity project, then to locate federal government resources for planning, equipment, construction, and research as well as to locate other e-Connectivity projects.

Among the resources available for e-Connectivity projects are grants, loans and technical assistance from multiple Mission Areas at USDA, including Rural Development, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Forest Service.

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“High-speed broadband e-Connectivity is becoming more and more essential to doing business, delivering health care, and, for schoolchildren, doing homework in rural communities,” said Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett, in a prepared statement.

“This user-friendly tool will help rural customers find the many resources USDA has available to support the expansion and use of e-Connectivity in rural America.”

USDA’s launch of the e-Connectivity Toolkit closely follows Secretary Sonny Perdue’s unveiling of the pilot ReConnect Program to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas that lack sufficient access to broadband. The program was authorized by the Consolidated Budget Act of 2018.

Image courtesy of flickr user Sean MacEntee.

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