USDA Announces $ 120 Million in Broadband Infrastructure Loans and Grants: Broadband Breakfast
WASHINGTON, December 16, 2021 – The Agriculture Department on Thursday announced recipients of $ 119.7 million in broadband grants and loans.
The money comes from two rural development programs under the ministry, the Telecom Loan program disbursing $ 71.1 million to four recipients and $ 48.6 million to 23 recipients of the Community Connect grant program.
Under the Community Connect program, eligible areas are those that do not have access to speeds of at least 10 megabits per second download and 1 Mbps download. The eligibility criteria for the telecommunications infrastructure loans and loan guarantees program include rural towns of 5,000 inhabitants or less without a telecommunications network.
In the press release, the department used the example of how Interior Telephone Company in Alaska will use a $ 2.6 million grant: to build a 19 mile fiber optic network to the premises.
The states represented are California, New Mexico, Indiana, Alaska, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina , Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia and Washington.
The beneficiaries are Ponderosa Telephone, Sierra Telephone Company, Mescalero Apache Telecom, Geetingsville Tele Co., Interior Telephone Company, Byte Networking, Sharon Telephone, Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, Wabash Telephone Coop., Jo-Carroll Energy, West Kentucky Rural Telephone Coop Corp., Star Telephone Company, Easton Utilities Commission, Consolidated Telephone Company, Bay Springs Telephone Company Inc., Atlantic Telephone Membership Corp., Star Telephone Membership Corp., NTUA Wireless, Pine Telephone Company, Pine Cellular Phones, Pioneer Telephone Coop., Ben Lomand Communications LLC, iGo Technology Inc., Pembroke Telephone Cooperative, Scott County Telephone Coop., Whidbey Telephone Company, and Public Utility District 1 Lewis County.
“The investments we are announcing today will help create well-paying union jobs and grow the economy in a sustainable and equitable manner so that everyone progresses for decades to come,” said the Secretary of Agriculture. . Tom vilsack.
The bulk of the money is part of a larger pie worth $ 5.2 billion, the remainder of which goes to other infrastructure programs, including electricity, water and electricity. ‘environment.
In August, the ministry announced $ 167 million to improve broadband infrastructure in 12 states as part of its ReConnect program.