USDA Kicks Off Rural Comm Tool Investment Push

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RadioTowerThe Agriculture Department is investing nearly $16 million in telecommunications equipment in an effort to help rural areas in the U.S. gain access to education, open job opportunities and build up healthcare services.

USDA will provide grants for distance learning and telemedicine services as part of President Barack Obama’s ConnectED program that launched in June 2013 with the goal of connecting students to the Internet, USDA said Tuesday.

One of the grant recipients is the Piketon, Ohio-based South Central Ohio Computer Association, which will receive $184,000 to train students for high technology careers.

The Idaho Education Network has also been selected to procure distance learning tools for K-8 schools in 62 Idaho communities.