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USDA Announces Funding for Rural Broadband

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Telephone utilities in 18 states will receive nearly $500 million in U.S. Agriculture Department funds to build, expand and improve broadband in rural areas.

The Ag Department made the announcement Monday during the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in St. Louis.

In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the money to 28 telephone utilities will provide high-speed Internet that will improve health care and educational opportunities to rural areas, along with greater job opportunities.

States receiving the funding are predominantly in the South, West and Midwest.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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