Broadband expert says USDA shutdown is hurting rural internet expansion

Through its Rural Utilities Service program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides rural development grants to municipalities and local governments applying to expand or construct broadband infrastructure, and the agency invested $228 million last year across 22 states. But until the federal government emerges from a shutdown that has so far lasted 27 days, the "provision of new rural development loans and grants" under the program will remain unfunded in 2019. And communities without broadband will remain cut off from assistance provided through the USDA.

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