NTCA Welcomes Announcement of RUS Rural Broadband Pilot Program

For Immediate Release

Contact: Laura Withers, 703-351-2087, lwithers@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (December 13, 2018)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association applauded today’s launch of the new “ReConnect Program” to improve and support broadband in rural America at a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service event featuring Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The program, which was funded via a $600 million appropriation in the March 2018 Omnibus, will support loans, grants and loan/grant combinations for broadband deployment in the regions of rural America that need it most.

The ReConnect Program launch follows listening sessions on rural connectivity held throughout the country over the past several months that were co-hosted by a coalition of stakeholders, including NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, Farm Foundation, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, CoBank and the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.

“NTCA has been grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of public and private stakeholders in the lead up to today’s exciting announcement,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “We all recognize the value of and fundamental need for robust, sustainable broadband in rural America—technology that supports health care, education, economic development and more—and we hope this program can be a critical component of delivering on that value and responding to that need.”

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.