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The USDA ReConnect program is investing $12.2 million to bring broadband to unserved and underserved areas of Louisiana. The Louisiana USDA ReConnect award goes to The Star Telephone Company.

The investment will be evenly split between a grant and a loan. The FTTP network will connect 3,857 people, 69 businesses, 149 farms, five educational facilities and two essential community facilities in Rapides, Concordia, Pointe Coupee, Avoyelles and Evangeline parishes, according to a press release about the Louisiana USDA ReConnect award.

This was the second award to Star Telephone in the ReConnect program.

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In the first round of the program, Star Telephone was awarded $15,525,694, which also was split between a grant and a loan. The monies were aimed at creating a broadband fiber network serving 2,609 households, 13 educational facilities, 2 healthcare centers and 8 critical community facilities.

The service area is spread over 100.26 square miles. That also was a USDA ReConnect Louisiana award.

The Star Telephone Company, which does business as Star Communications, was incorporated in 1952.

The second round of the program was scheduled to award $550 million in loans, grants and grant/loan combinations. It has exceeded that amount and now stands at $655,179,473 divided between 84 awards in 35 states and territories.

In October, a USDA official told Telecompetitor that the agency was able to go beyond the allotted amount because of the incoming interest on loan awards.

The first round of the program awarded $663,198,738 to 77 entities in 33 states and territories. Combined, the ReConnect program has invested $1,328,378,211 in 161 projects.

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