Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is inviting comments on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program established in the omnibus spending bill approved in March. USDA is developing the program to spur private investment and bring broadband to unserved rural areas of the country. “Reliable and affordable internet e-Connectivity truly is the key to prosperity in the 21st century, and I’m pleased Congress recognized this need and has provided this critical funding,” Perdue said. Lawmakers earmarked $600 million to help finance projects aimed at expanding broadband. Rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less and with current internet service speeds of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 1 Mbps upload at the household will be eligible to apply for program funds. USDA is seeking input from stakeholders as it develops possible rules and requirements of the program. Comments are due by Sept. 10. For details on how to submit comments, click here.

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