RUS Broadband LoanThe Department of Agriculture announced four new broadband loans totaling $43.6 million yesterday. USDA broadband loans awarded will provide funding at low interest rates to network operators to build or improve network infrastructure in rural areas.

USDA Broadband Loans Awarded
The four loans included:

  • $24.8 million to the Central Texas Telephone Cooperative to construct 568 miles of fiber and install equipment upgrades in seven of its 17 exchanges
  • $9 million to California’s Ducor Telephone Co. to construct 67 miles of fiber and update equipment
  • $6.5 million to Iowa’s Coon Valley Cooperative Telephone Association to construct 216 miles of fiber
  • $3.3 million to Viola Home Telephone Co. of Illinois to construct 104 miles of fiber and provide supporting equipment

In a press release, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the investments “will connect rural communities to a digital future and will help expand access to high-speed internet, health care, educational and business services in rural communities.”

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USDA offers both loans and grants for telecom facilities, which fall into four categories:

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