Monday, August 6, 2018

USDA funds 12 rural broaband projects -- $97M

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced plans to invest $97 million in 12 projects in 11 states: Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The funding is intended to improve rural broadband. The funding will be made available through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Community Connect Grant Program.

Example projects include:

Chibardun Telephone Cooperative, Inc. in Cameron, Wis., is receiving a $21.4 million loan to improve outside plant facilities in four (Almena, Cameron, Dallas and Ridgeland) of its six exchanges. It will construct 675 miles of fiber-to-the-premises and install associated electronics. Chibardun serves Barron and Dunn counties. Approximately 2,700 subscribers will receive improved service as a result of this loan.

Osage Innovative Solutions, LLC in Tulsa, Okla., is receiving a $2.7 million grant to construct a hybrid fiber-to-the-premises 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 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload to 139 households and 22 businesses.

The Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Company, in Green City, is receiving a $13.7 million loan to convert six exchanges from copper plant to fiber-to-the-premises. It will construct nearly 500 route miles of fiber. Northeast Missouri expects to improve service to 1,063 subscribers.