USDA Releases 2015 Rural Development Progress Report

Pete CodellaBroadband

USDA rural developmentThe 2015 USDA Rural Development Progress Report details the investment of $29.75 billion spent on rural development in Fiscal Year 2015.  $256.6 million of these funds were spent by the Rural Utilities Service to improve existing telecom infrastructure or build new telecom infrastructure, including broadband networks.   This investment impacted 2.8 million rural subscribers across America.

Over the past three years, Utah has received over $22.5 million to use towards telecom infrastructure.  These funds benefited 17 grant recipients across the state.  In fiscal year 2015, two Utah grant recipients received $339,480.

The report, published this January, highlights the impact USDA Rural Development initiatives have on real people.  Personal stories from each state called attention to this impact by capturing the spirit of rural economic growth and entrepreneurship.  For example, after receiving a $9.5 million loan through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, northeast Missouri residents capitalized on new opportunity provided via high-speed Internet access.  Owners at Spring Lake Pork, a hog farm in Curryville, Missouri, began using an advanced online system to manage their stock.  This system has allowed them to better care for their hogs and improve business operations.

Advancements in agricultural operations are just one of perks made possible by broadband infrastructure development.  Other stories across the nation described the creation of new e-commerce growth, more efficient public water systems achieved by online monitoring programs, access to web-based education, and other stories describing improved quality of life.

The report also shares a summary of USDA Rural Development programs, including programs managed by the Rural Utilities Service which offer grants that can be used for broadband development.  The matrix describing these programs and their terms, along with the entire report, can be found here: