LAS VEGAS (AP) — The federal government is pledging $401 million in grants and loans to expand the reach and improve the speed of internet for rural residents, tribes and businesses in remote parts of 11 states from Alaska to Arkansas.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters Wednesday, ahead of the Thursday announcement, that farmers, store owners, schoolchildren and people seeking telehealth medical checkups will benefit from the ReConnect and Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan and Loan Guarantee programs.

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