I was so excited to get the phone call from USDA Secretary Perdue’s team to share that indeed he was going to make time on his busy schedule to join us in Denver at the end of this month to share his thoughts about the role broadband plays in the life of farmers, ranchers, ag producers and rural America in general. It will be a treat to have a Cabinet Secretary with us at our Fall Conference.
USDA has been very active in promoting and supporting rural broadband deployment – from ReConnect to Community Connect to the traditional RUS lending programs – USDA has been a key financial player for NTCA members.
In all of his time at the helm of USDA, Perdue has been a champion of access and deployment. Early in his tenure, I was invited to hear the Secretary and President Trump speak in Nashville on ways to ease regulatory burdens to expand access and it’s been fun to watch this man of action as increased USDA funding was allocated by Congress to help RUS figure out ways to bridge the gaps across our nation. I am really anxious to see the results of the the first funding efforts of ReConnect with hopes as the speed requirements rise, even more NTCA members will come to the table to be part of the solution for some of their neighboring underserved communities.