08/23/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/23/2019 15:26
WASHINGTON - Senator John Hoeven today announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized $591 million in funding over the next decade to support broadband in rural North Dakota. Benefiting 41,578 rural homes and businesses, the funds will be used to maintain, improve and expand affordable broadband. The funding is provided from the Universal Service Fund, which is funded through fees on carriers.
'Improving our broadband infrastructure and services in communities across our state will help to grow our economy and maintain a high quality of life. Broadband is tremendously important for our growing technology sector, access to health care services and educational opportunities,' said Hoeven. 'These investments come as part of our continued efforts to support rural broadband in North Dakota and this is about ensuring our state can stay competitive, closing the digital divide.'
As chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to expand broadband in rural areas, and secured a total of $1.1 billion in funding for the ReConnect Program, a rural broadband loan and grant pilot program targeted to areas that currently lack access to quality broadband service.
Today's authorized funds for North Dakota are a portion of over $4.9 billion in support for rural broadband benefiting 39 states, American Samoa and Tribal lands over the next decade.