U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) applauded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) investment in strengthening access to high speed broadband in rural Wisconsin.
The broadband investment in LaValle Telephone Cooperative will serve citizens in Sauk, Richland and Juneau counties. This new funding was also the featured in the Washington Post July 21 in an article titled, “Why the Agriculture Department is giving out tens of millions of dollars for Internet access.”
“The internet is built for faster speeds, and if we don’t keep up the pace of investment in rural communities, they will be left behind. Expanding and improving broadband service is vital to growing rural economies in Wisconsin and this is important support for our state,” said Baldwin, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.
LaValle Telephone Cooperative will use $7.61 million to deploy fiber and replace a switch to provide rural subscribers with improved services, including voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and the flexibility to connect to Gigabit Ethernet and IP interfaces.
The Telecommunications Loan and Community Connect Grant programs are an important part of USDA’s broadband efforts. Since 2009, USDA has brought new or improved broadband access to more than 1.5 million households, businesses and community education, and public safety facilities. USDA’s broadband efforts are part of President Barack Obama’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans. Since the President took office, the private and public sectors have invested more than $260 billion into new broadband infrastructure, and three in four Americans now use broadband at home.