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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.

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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