Agriculture Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Gilbert Gonzalez is encouraging private companies to leverage over $2.1 billion in USDA funds to expand access to high-speed Internet technology in rural areas.

"This is an investment by the Bush Administration in the future economic vitality of America's rural communities," said Gonzalez. "Accelerating the availability of broadband technologies in more remote rural communities increases their ability to effectively compete in domestic and global markets."

As part of President Bush's goal to expand high-speed access to every household by the year 2007, USDA Rural Development is aggressively working to provide qualified borrowers with investment funding needed to expand such infrastructure. Since the beginning of the Bush Administration, over $3.3 billion in rural telecommunications loan and grants have been invested in rural areas, resulting in over 1.3 million rural subscribers gaining access to high-speed Internet technologies.

Source: Government Release