USDA Invests Millions for Rural Broadband in VA, TX

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earmarked several million dollars in Rural Development grants for broadband deployment in rural Virginia and Texas. USDA Rural Development State Director for Virginia, Beth Green, said the federal government has invested $28 million in high-speed broadband infrastructure for more than 17,000 rural households in Virginia. This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments.

Central Virginia Electric Cooperative will use a $28 million ReConnect Program loan and grant combination to construct a fiber-to-the-premises network encompassing 704 square miles. The service area is expected to reach 17,023 households, 35 pre-subscribed businesses, 20 pre-subscribed farms, 15 educational facilities, 15 critical community facilities and six health care centers in Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Greene, Goochland, Louisa, Orange, Prince Edward and Powhatan counties. 

In Texas, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $19 million investment in three, high-speed broadband infrastructure projects in rural areas. These will create or improve rural e-Connectivity for almost 7,000 rural households, 46 farms, 32 pre-subscribed businesses, 19 critical community facilities and 15 educational facilities in rural Texas.

Border to Border Communications will use a $5 million ReConnect grant and a $5 million ReConnect loan to deploy a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network. The funded service area includes 5,153 households, 20 farms, 15 pre-subscribed businesses, 15 educational facilities, and 10 critical community facilities spread over 938 square miles in Webb and Zapata counties.

Mid-South Synergy will use a $6 million ReConnect grant to deploy a FTTP broadband network. This network will be capable of symmetrical transmission speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps). The service area includes 786 households, 26 farms, 17 pre-subscribed businesses and seven critical community facilities spread over 385 square miles in Brazos, Grimes, Madison and Walker counties.

Peoples Telephone Cooperative Inc. will use a $3 million ReConnect grant to deploy a FTTP broadband network. The funded service area includes 914 households and two critical community facilities spread over 28 square miles in Titus, Camp and Wood counties.

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