U.S. Rural Electrification Programs

The Rural Electrical Administration (REA) was created during the Depression era to finance electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution facilities to rural areas. President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the REA through Executive Order 7037 on May 11, 1935. In 1939, the REA became part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Subsequently, the agency’s role has been expanded by Congress to include directing a rural telephone program (1949) and the delivery of rural, Internet-based broadband telecommunications programs (2002). In 1994, the Department of Agriculture was restructured under the Federal Crop Insurance Reform and Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act. This restructuring ended the REA but created the Rural Utility Service (RUS), which was charged with administering rural utility programs, rural housing programs, community facilities programs, ...

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