USDA Pumps $97M Into Broadband to Help 11 States


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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $97 million to provide or improve rural broadband service in 11 states. They are: Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The USDA is making the investments through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Community Connect Grant Program. Those filing for a grant must include a complete project description, including towers, antennas, fiber and cabinets, etc.

Some examples of the investments include Chibardun Telephone Cooperative in Wisconsin, which is receiving a $21.4 million loan to construct 675 miles of a fiber-to-the-home network. Approximately 2,700 subscribers will receive improved service as a result of this loan, according to the USDA. The Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Company is receiving a $13.7 million loan to convert six exchanges, covering nearly 500 route miles, from copper to fiber. Northeast Missouri expects to improve service to 1,063 subscribers.

Osage Innovative Solutions, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is receiving a $2.7 million grant to build a hybrid fiber-to-the-home and fixed wireless system in an unserved and economically depressed portion of the Osage Nation in Osage County. The company will offer speeds up to 100 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload to 139 households and 22 businesses. Osage will also provide a community center where residents can access the internet for free, according to the announcement.

August 7, 2018       

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