Nebraska awarded $61 million in broadband funding yesterday. Among the winners were Lumen/CenturyLink, Windstream, Charter Communications and Cox Communications, each slated to take home between $1 million and $5 million.
The biggest winners were companies that already operate in the state and that are backed by private investment firms. ALLO Communications is slated to receive over $11 million, and Great Plains Communications is slated to receive nearly $11 million.
The third biggest winner was Stealth Broadband, a Nebraska-based company founded in 2016 whose owners include the CEO and COO. The company is slated to receive over $8.5 million.
Skywave Wireless, a locally owned company founded in 2002 that offers fixed wireless and fiber broadband, was the fourth largest winner. The company will receive nearly $5 million.
The funding provides an “opportunity for qualified applicants to bring broadband to Nebraskans most in need of these services,” said Dan Watermeier, chair of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, in an announcement of the awards.
Eighteen companies in total won funding for 65 projects.
Two local incumbent providers – Nebraska Central Telephone Company and Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company — were among the top 10 winners and are slated to receive approximately $3.3 million and $2.4 million, respectively.
Also in the top 10 was Vyve Broadband. The rural cable consolidator will take home about $1.8 million.
The Nebraska Broadband awards were made through the state’s Capital Projects Fund, which is supported with federal funds.
The state received 130 applications for funding in this round. An additional funding round is planned for District 3. Projects that were not approved in District 3 during the initial funding round will be able to be resubmitted.
A complete list of the awards announced yesterday can be found in this document.