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USDA Officials Explain Federal Funding for Rural Broadband, Will Answer Questions from Public, Local Organizations

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Athens, OH (February 20, 2020) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now taking applications for the second round of $550 million in ReConnect Program loan and grant funding for rural broadband expansion.  That window closes March 16. Ohio University and Connected Nation Ohio (CN Ohio) are working in partnership to help communities understand how to leverage this program to connect more Ohioans.

A webinar is taking place Monday, February 24 from 10 am to 12 pm featuring a conversation with USDA officials at OU’s Vernon R. Alden Library, located at 30 Park Place, on the campus.  Local residents, business owners, internet service providers, and others are invited to ask USDA officials questions about the ReConnect Program and how it can be leveraged to help Ohio communities.

Attendees in person and online will learn how the program works and will have the opportunity to ask your questions about applying for the available funds. To take part in or watch the webinar, click on the link which will go “live” once the webinar begins:

“We are laser-focused on closing the Digital Divide in Ohio and addressing the challenges and solutions to doing so,” said Tina Lyden, State Program Director, CN Ohio. “Part of that work means ensuring that we provider community leaders and Ohio companies with the information they need to leverage every opportunity. The funds available in the USDA ReConnect Program are being set aside specifically for expanding broadband in rural areas. This webinar will help communities understand how they can tap into this resource and help connect more their residents, businesses, farmers, and others.”

One study found that reaching full broadband coverage in Ohio would generate an estimated $1 billion to $2 billion, conservatively, and up to $6.6 billion in economic benefits over the next 15 years. In addition, the telehealth cost savings annually per healthcare facility are $27,209.

Media Contact:

Jessica Denson, Director, Communications


Phone: 502-341-2024


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Connected Nation Ohio (CN Ohio) is the local subsidiary of the national non-profit, Connected Nation. Our mission is to improve lives by providing innovation solutions that expand access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet and its related technology to all people. Everyone belongs in a Connected Nation.

Connected Nation works with consumers, local community leaders, states, technology providers, and foundations to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit: and follow Connected Nation on Facebook and Twitter.