Bustos Joins Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Announce $1.15 Billion for Rural Broadband Expansion

GENESEO — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) joined U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to announce the availability of $1.15 billion in loans and grants to expand broadband availability in rural areas through the ReConnect Program. 

“In the district I serve, one in four families lack access to high-speed internet. This has a significant impact on our schools, health care facilities and small businesses across Northwest and Central Illinois,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “It was an honor to join Secretary Vilsack today to announce that funding I voted for in FY 2021 appropriations is headed out the door to help connect our rural communities with much-needed broadband access.”

Today’s announcement continues to move forward President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda by prioritizing economic growth in rural America and investing in the backbone of our country – the middle class. Photos from today’s event can be found here.

Beginning on November 24th, the USDA will begin accepting applications for up to $1.15 billion through the ReConnect program. Additional information on the ReConnect program can be found here

A leader in the effort to expand rural broadband access, Congresswoman Bustos is a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition Rural Reinvestment Task Force and a member of the House Task Force on Rural Broadband.