Expanding Rural Broadband: Congress looks to add ReConnect to the 2023 Farm Bill

Connecting more rural Americans with high-speed internet is a growing priority for lawmakers and communities. Now, there is a push to make USDA’s ReConnect program permanent using the Farm Bill.

The ReConnect program gets its money from appropriations bills as well as nearly $2 billion from the Infrastructure law. Making it part of the Farm Bill would guarantee its funding for at least five years.

The debate now is over internet speeds. Current ReConnect rules require 100 megabytes for upload and 100 for download, but some want to make it permanent in the Farm Bill with just 20 megabyte download speeds.

Representative Zach Nunn from Iowa says 100 up and down is crucial for farmers looking to expand precision ag technologies.