USDA: Grant will connect rural Arizonans to high-speed internet

Jun 18, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2023, 12:05 pm

(Photo by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)...

(Photo by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

(Photo by Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Nearly $28.5 million in grants will go toward connecting rural residents, farmers and business owners in rural Arizona to reliable, affordable high-speed internet, according to the USDA.

The grant money is a part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda where one of the goals is connecting all communities in the U.S. with high-speed internet.

Charlene Fernandez, USDA rural development Arizona State Director, said over 1,900 people in rural Arizona will benefit from the promises made and kept by the Biden-Harris administration.

“As we travel throughout the state of Arizona we hear from our rural residents over and over again that too many lack access to quality, affordable, high-speed internet,” Fernandez said in a press release.

The Colorado River Indiana Tribes will receive $25 million of the grant money which will connect over 1,900 people, 41 businesses, three farms and four educational facilities in La Paz County, according to the press release.

The remaining $3.5 million will go toward South Central Utah Telephone Association Inc. It will deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network and will provide high-speed internet to 24 people and one farm in Coconino County.

“Arizona rural people will thrive as we strive to reach our goal of digital equity throughout the state with emphasis on access to educational opportunities, telemedicine, tele-employment and so much more,” Fernandez said.

Both entities will make monthly internet service affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, the release stated.

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USDA: Grant will connect rural Arizonans to high-speed internet