Blog

Closing the Rural Broadband Gap

Fri, December 14, 2018

By Douglas Kinkoph, Associate Administrator Office of Telecommunications and Information Applications

NTIA has a long history of working to close the digital divide. Unfortunately, there are still nearly 25 million Americans still lack access to broadband connectivity and of those, 19 million live in rural communities. Currently, NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team delivers technical assistance, workshops, webinars, guides and tools for communities, non-profits and providers looking to expand broadband connectivity and improve digital inclusion.

The Department of Agriculture’s recently announced $600 million grant and loan program, ReConnect, takes an important step to help close the broadband coverage gap for the millions of rural Americans who lack access to broadband connectivity. We congratulate USDA on the launch of this program and look forward to supporting technical assistance to potential applicants through its partnership with USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team has extensive experience working in the telecommunications industry, building broadband networks and consulting with service providers and local governments. Using this expertise, our team will be supporting the development of educational materials and workshops that help applicants with the grant and loan process.