It’s been three years now since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic underscored how essential internet access is to our lives and livelihoods — and rural advocates have been sounding that message for much longer still. In that time though, the effort to get all Americans connected has been making some steady progress at the local, state, and federal levels.
One such effort is ReConnect Broadband, a loan and grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). ReConnect Broadband received a big boost in funding when President Biden signed the bipartisan infrastructure law more than one year ago. Graphic Journalist Nhatt Nichols takes a closer look at how that is now beginning to manifest in real ways, with the delivery of high-speed internet service to rural communities across America.