Rural electrification in North Dakota began in the 1930s and has remained a necessity ever since. That means rural broadband service is finally coming to many areas. North Dakota is well ahead of its neighboring states in this area. Most Midwestern and Mountain states have connection speeds of between zero and twenty megabits per second (Mbps). However, connection speeds in North Dakota’s rural tracts are higher than those of its counties.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a $18 million investment in rural internet infrastructure. These funds will go toward improving broadband service in rural areas, including 91 counties in North Dakota and the states of Montana and Wyoming. The money will be used to build a fiber-to-premises network, bringing remarkable download and upload speeds to rural communities. The project will help connect approximately 1,150 people, 67 businesses, four public schools, and 91 farms.
Affordable Connectivity Program
In rural North Dakota, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that it will award up to $18 million in funding for rural broadband. The ReConnect Program, created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, aims to provide high-speed internet to areas with low download and upload speeds. The funds will be administered by the Reservation Telephone Cooperative in Richland and Wibaux counties, as well as in Dunn, McKenzie and McLean counties in North Dakota.
Reservation Telephone Cooperative
A new high-speed internet network is coming to four rural North Dakota counties. The project is supported by a $6.9 million ReConnect grant, and will offer broadband internet to 4,662 homes and businesses, as well as one anchor institution. This will create or protect 480 jobs, and will also reduce the cost of broadband service for qualifying households. RTC’s plans will bring high-speed internet to four rural North Dakota counties.
Arkansas Telephone Cooperative
The federal government has announced plans to extend high-speed internet to rural counties in the state. The funding will help rural residents, schools, businesses, and people seeking telehealth medical checkups. The programs are part of the bipartisan infrastructure law, which includes an unprecedented $65 billion investment in broadband Internet. The Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, meanwhile, will offer low-cost voice starter packages and data-only starter packages.
Broadband Technology Opportunities Program
The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) is an incentive program that pays local providers to install fiber-optic cable in rural areas. This is vital to providing rural residents with high-speed internet. Thanks to the program, rural North Dakota became a state with the best internet connectivity in the nation. This funding goes directly to the capital costs of installing fiber infrastructure. Rural counties in North Dakota will soon have the ability to access fast internet, a necessity for modern life.