The following statement regarding the Agriculture Department’s ReConnect broadband program can be attributed to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
“The Agriculture Department’s latest effort to boost broadband services in rural America could not come at a better time. Rural broadband is essential to modern agriculture, the farmers and ranchers who grow our food and to the quality of life for rural Americans.
“This $600 million grant and loan program to connect farmers, ranchers and other rural Americans to a network so central to our prosperity is more than welcome. We are confident companies and cooperatives that apply for these grants and loans will find an overwhelming demand for broadband connectivity.
“When Congress wrote the 1996 Telecommunications Act, it promised rural America it would one day have broadband Internet service equal to the rest of the country. We’re not quite there, but 25-megabit downloads and 3 megabits up is the sort of speed we’ve been waiting for. We thank Secretary Perdue for implementing this program. We also want to thank our Senate and House Appropriations subcommittee chairmen John Hoeven and Robert Aderholt for funding the program. Their leadership is bringing rural Americans one step closer to high-speed communications equality with the rest of the nation.”