North Dakota is close to closing the gap in its rural broadband coverage. This week USDA announced it's investing $23 million two high-speed broadband infrastructure projects.

This will create or improve connectivity for about three thousand rural homes and businesses in northeast north dakota. It’s through a grant-loan partnership with Polar Communications and Daktel.

This is part of USDA’s re-connect program to provide broadband technology to rural areas.

Shirley Bloomfield: It's more than fast email. It is the ability to file government paper, it is the ability to have your kids take lessons from home and do standardized testing. It's the ability to actually do basic diagnostic work, you're diabetic or you have a heart condition. To do it from the comfort of your living room instead of driving 20 miles to a clinic. And then the power of seeing when those services do roll out, and seeing how it changes lives, how it changes communities, how it actually incentivizes businesses to come in.

Construction is expected to start on this project in the spring.