BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A small internet service provider in northern Idaho and northeastern Washington state has received more than $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to bolster broadband communications in the region.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the grant to the Pend Oreille Valley Network, Inc., which is based in Newport, Wash., late last week as one of 22 projects across the nation that are receiving $13.4 million combined.

His agency's program provides financial assistance to furnish broadband Internet service in unserved, often isolated, rural communities, to help businesses expand, boost education and improve health care services.

The Pend Oreille Valley Network was founded in 1996 and provides Internet service to Idaho communities including Priest River, Northport and Moscow.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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