Mark Walker

11/08/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/08/2019 12:49

Walker Announces $23.7 Million in Rural Broadband Investment is Coming to North Carolina

WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) today released released the following statement after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $23.7 million in grants for high-speed broadband infrastructure in North Carolina:

'I am proud of our work and commitment to closing the digital divide in North Carolina. Access to high-speed broadband brings new prosperity to our rural areas and extends limitless opportunities for our entrepreneurs, farmers, students and health care professionals. This grant program will foster new connectivity for nearly 8,750 households in North Carolina and continue our hard-fought progress to break through a new digital frontier.'

According to USDA, these grants will enable the federal government to partner with the private sector and rural communities to build modern broadband infrastructure in areas with insufficient internet service. USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald 'DJ' LaVoy made the following statement in regards to the recent announcement:

'Our core mission at USDA is to increase rural prosperity, and this mission cannot be achieved without addressing the digital divide our rural communities face due to a lack of high-speed broadband internet connection. Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in deploying critical infrastructure, because we know when rural America thrives, all of America thrives.'

This announcement follows Walker's cosponsorship of the RURAL Act, which protects electric cooperative's tax-exempt status and their capabilities to keep our rural communities connected and thriving. Walker has championed several other pieces of legislation to bring high-speed Internet and secure 5G technology to North Carolina to give our families and businesses affordability and options.

Read the full statement from the USDA here.

Read the full text of the RURAL Act here.