Escanaba and Gladstone have a need for improved data infrastructure to help its local population connect to a bigger world but also to better ensure they can attract more advanced industries. The beautiful local communities could capitalize on this grant for improvement that could also lead to attracting more virtual workers. Investors, intellectual workers, virtual workers, etc... need fast Internet. Companies also need powerful bandwidth if they want to compete globally.
The U.P. is one of those places that when you drive a few miles from town your cell phone reception becomes spotty and you may not have access to affordable Internet. I know because I get my bill every month and unless your on the initial introductory offer you will likely be paying a lot of money. 😳
As a community we should look for new opportunities like this to enhance the appeal and connectivity of the community. Expanding out more into rural locations improves the charm of country living and having access to modern amenities. We may also want to enhance access and covered within our town. Some places offer free internet downtown. Not sure if Escanaba and Gladstone do that but I don't think so.
The following was taken from the Congressman Jack Bergman Brief.........
Washington - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today announced that USDA is accepting applications to provide broadband service in unserved rural areas.
USDA is making grants available under the Community Connect Grant program for Fiscal Year 2021. The program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband service in rural, economically-challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. Grant recipients must provide broadband speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 3 Mbps upstream to all premises in the proposed service area.
USDA will give priority to rural areas that demonstrate the greatest need for broadband services, based on requirements that can be found at 7 CFR part 1739.
Applicants are encouraged to review the FY 2021 application guide and sample material online. Electronic submissions must be received no later than Dec. 23, 2020 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time (EST) to be eligible for funding under this grant opportunity.
USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity (PDF, 5.4 MB) to help improve life in rural America. Applicants are encouraged to consider projects that provide measurable results in helping rural communities build robust and sustainable economies through strategic investments in infrastructure, partnerships and innovation. Key strategies include:
• Achieving e-Connectivity for Rural America
• Developing the Rural Economy
• Harnessing Technological Innovation
• Supporting a Rural Workforce
• Improving Quality of Life
For additional information, visit www.grants.gov