USDA’s COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide Lists Federal Programs That Can Help Rural Communities, Organizations and Residents Impacted by COVID-19
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2020
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide (PDF, 349 KB) is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
USDA has taken many immediate actions to assist farmers, ranchers, producers, rural communities, and rural-based businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these actions, visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
Contact: USDA Press
As printed in The New Mexican:
"Free Wi-Fi will soon be available at several locations across Santa Fe despite reservations about the project from some city councilors who ended up voting for it anyway.
After a nearly 11/2 hour discussion Wednesday, Mayor Alan Webber and the City Council unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with Santa Fe Public Schools for the city to install Wi-Fi hot spots at several school campuses. The free Wi-Fi on school grounds is primarily intended for students who have switched to online learning in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic but who have limited or no internet access.
Though not part of the agreement with the school district, the city also plans to install Wi-Fi hot spots at several city-owned buildings that will be available for the public to log into, too.
“In combination with city-owned sites, the selected school locations will allow for more areas of the city to have hotspots near at hand,” Sean Moody, the city’s telecommunications architect, wrote in a memo to the council.
Some city councilors, including Michael Garcia, JoAnne Vigil Coppler and Renee Villarreal, pushed for a “timeline” to remove the infrastructure, which is only intended to be temporary. Despite their jockeying, the full council ultimately approved the agreement as originally presented. “The pandemic is our timeline,” Rich Brown, the city’s economic development director, told the governing body. “We don’t know when that’s going to end.”
The project, which will cost an estimated $90,000, has raised suspicions that it will lead to the installation of 5G cellphone technology, which still doesn’t exist in Santa Fe. But city and school officials emphasized that the hot spots are unrelated to 5G.
“That’s still aspirational for Santa Fe,” Moody said in a telephone interview before Wednesday’s virtual council meeting. “None of the providers have it here. Certainly, it’s not part of our project whatsoever. Our project doesn’t use it, and it doesn’t make it.”
Councilor Signe Lindell said the council received numerous emails about the project from concerned residents, some of which left her “dumbfounded.”
“There was one thing that stood out in those emails that I’m compelled to say out loud, and that’s the number of people that said in emails that they didn’t believe there were people in this town that don’t have internet access,” she said. “I was shocked by that. It tells me that there’s some folks who have no idea how much some of our fellow citizens are struggling.”
Tom Ryan, the school district’s chief information and strategy officer, said the free Wi-Fi on school campuses is designed to help students “get to their educational resources” as well as access general information about what’s happening in the world.
“We have about 550 kids that said that they need internet access,” Ryan said. “We also have teachers, some of which their spouse has lost their job due to the closing of businesses, etcetera, that can’t afford or can no longer afford internet.”"
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 | Online 1 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. CT / 11 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. PT
Dr. Vint Cerf - the man who co-invented the Internet and Google's Chief Evangelist - joined a discussion with other Internet and connectivity experts to discuss ideas and strategies for what we can do now and in the coming years to connect the unconnected and close the digital divide. With initial local surveys reporting more than 44,000 students so far in New Mexico are unable to connect to the Internet now that schools are closed and coursework is moving online due to this COVID crisis, the issue of equity in access is more critical than ever for families and schools here in New Mexico. Dr. Cerf was be joined by: Samantha Schartman-Cycyk, Marconi Society; David A. Bray, Atlantic Council; Lin Wells, People Centered Internet; and Bill Callahan, National Digital Inclusion Alliance. This STEM Ecosystem initiative was supported and promoted locally by the Community Learning Network, New Mexico TechWorks, the Internet Society New Mexico Chapter, the Santa Fe Tech Task Force, and the STEAM Coalition of Northern New Mexico.
Thursday, January 25, 2018 | Santa Fe, New Mexico
The New Mexico Chapter of the Internet Society held its first chapter meeting on Thursday, Jan. 25, from 2:30-4:30 at the Santa Fe Indian School at 1501 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87502 (in the Rotunda room in the Dorm building). The event began with a panel discussion among key players in New Mexico’s growing DIY internet movement, and included representatives from the Middle Rio Grande Pueblo Tribal Consortium comprising the Cochiti, San Felipe, Santa Ana and Santo Domingo Pueblos. These pueblos have been breaking new ground in tribal internet networking, and in doing so, leading the charge in advancing network connectivity throughout the state. They talked about what they are doing, how they’re doing it, and shared insights and best practices.
Community members of all ages came together to support and promote Tech education in our region. Check out this student-and-community-made video made with support from the Internet Society and New Mexico Chapter and including an important message from our new Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, as well as Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber!
On November 8-9, rural and indigenous community members from all over the Western Hemisphere will gather for two days of workshops, panels, and information sessions designed to tackle challenges and celebrate opportunities to for Indigenous communities in North America to strengthen their own Internet connectivity and explore topics including community networks, cultural preservation, and more. Hear from community network managers/operators, Indigenous-owned Internet service providers, community members, researchers, policy makers and Indigenous leadership.
The Indigenous Connectivity Summit is an initiative of the Internet Society, the Internet Society New Mexico Chapter, Community Learning Network ~ New Mexico TechWorks, the 1st-Mile Institute, and the First Mile Connectivity Consortium.