More than $20 million has been awarded by the Nebraska Broadband Bridge Program. The announcement was made by the Nebraska Public Service Commission, which funds the program.
The companies with the most grants are Great Plains Communications (ten) and Pinpoint Communications (five).
In all, over $20.3 million was committed and $18,670 remains to be awarded. The organization says that 29 organizations submitted 115 applications. Of these, 37 grants were approved. Within the approved grants, there are 260 underserved entities and 2,178 unserved entities.
Great Plans Communications was awarded more than $2.8 million. The money will fund 10 projects in the state. The company will provide matching funds of 25%, which will total almost $940,000.
The company plans to deploy fiber broadband supporting speeds up to 1 Gbps symmetrically.
“We are grateful for the Broadband Bridge Program funding that will help us continue to close the rural digital divide in Nebraska by bringing fiber to these unserved and underserved areas,” Great Plains Communications’ CEO Todd Foje said in a press release. “We commend the Nebraska Public Service Commission for their leadership in administering these rural broadband programs as they continue to allocate funding to achieve broadband access for all Nebraskans regardless of where they live.”
Cox Nebraska Telecom, a unit of cable company Cox Communications, was awarded four grants worth approximately $1.86 million.
MOBIUS Communications Company received a grant award of $2,362,500, which was the largest award and the only one of more than $2 million. There were six awards of more than $1 million each.
The program covers some of the costs of bringing broadband to unserved and underserved areas in the state. An unserved area is defined as one that lacks access to download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of 3 Mbps. An underserved area lacks access to download speeds of at least 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps.
Grant winners must provide at least half of the development cost of a project outside of a high-cost area and 25% in high cost areas. Projects must provide symmetrical speeds of at least 100 Mbps.