Cox Communications and 14 smaller broadband providers have been awarded a total of $274 million in the USDA ReConnect rural broadband funding program to cover some of the costs of deploying high-speed service in unserved rural areas.
The award to Cox is a grant for over $13 million to deploy fiber broadband in Muskogee and Sequoyah counties in Oklahoma. The application was made under the name CoxCom which, according to Dun & Bradstreet, is part of Cox.
The rest of the funding went to smaller companies, including incumbent rural providers, rural electric companies and others.
Ten of the awards were grants valued at up to $25 million, which was the maximum that could be awarded, according to rules for round 4 of the program. Three awards were made as grant/loan combinations. One award was made as a combination of a grant and a loan. And one award was made through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans and Guarantees option.
All awardees plan to deploy fiber broadband.
The ReConnect Round 4 rules call for the program to target areas lacking service supporting speeds of at least 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream. Companies awarded funding are required to deploy service at speeds of at least 100 Mbps symmetrically.
The awards are for deployments in eight states, including Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Service will be made available to 35,886 people, USDA said.
The ReConnect funding awards announced today are from tranche 4 in round 4 of the ReConnect program.
A complete list of awardees can be found at this link.