USDA Invests $24.5 Million in High-Speed Broadband in Utah

Pete CodellaBroadband, Articles

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced Strata Network will receive $24,563,757 in grant funds to combine with $8,187,919 of matching funds, to connect a high-speed fiber network in northeastern Utah, including Duchesne, Uintah, and Wasatch counties, to 3,472 households, 10,501 people, 32 businesses, and 39 farms spread over 118.86 square miles. 

This investment also includes native American tribal lands in those areas providing people access to the essential benefits of high-speed internet, including tools necessary to function at full capacity in education, healthcare, and the economy.

As part of the USDA’s ReConnect Program, the project provides loans and grants to construct, improve, or acquire facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.

“This infrastructure investment demonstrates the USDA’ s commitment to rural Utah’s future,” said Ryan Starks, managing director of Go Utah’s Business Services team. “The livelihoods of community members will be greatly enhanced thanks, in part, to the USDA and to Strata, a great community and state business partner.”

“Generations ago, the federal government recognized that without affordable access to electricity, Americans couldn’t fully participate in modern society and the modern economy,” said Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary. “Broadband internet is the new electricity. It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning and health care, and to stay connected.” 

The investments are part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program and other funds made available for the program.