T-Mobile Small town Grants

In a continuation of its outreach to rural America, T-Mobile has announced grants to 25 communities in what the carrier says will be a continuing stream of grants.

The communities receiving T-Mobile grants are Atmore and Wedowee, AL; Clarksville, AR; Mammoth Lakes, CA; Dixon, IL; Batesville, IN; Fruitland, ID; Fort Scott, KS; Lake Orion, MI; Oxford, MS; Laurinburg, Robersonville and Boiling Springs, NC; Raton, NM; Bowling Green, OH; Aumsville, Talent and Toledo, OR; Phoenixville, Pittston and South Fayette Township, PA; Erwin, TN; Elgin, TX, Helper City, UT and Moses Lake, WA.

The carrier partnered with Main Street America and Smart Growth America to assess the applications, which came from communities with less than 50,000 residents. T-Mobile says that the awards were based on a number of factors, including the detail and fullness of submissions and their likely impact and viability.

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Examples of what the grants will be used for include: Creation of an Internet technology lab (Atmore), building and operation of a dog park (Mammoth Lakes), creation of a downtown greenspace (Fort Scott), building “parklets” (Bowling Green), transforming an empty building into a community meeting place (Talent) and creating a “community incubator” for art, music and events (Moses Lake).

“These incredible projects spark innovation, ingenuity and hard work that have always been the hallmark of our nation’s small towns,” Jon Freier, T-Mobile’s Executive Vice President of Consumer Group, said in a press release. “From beautifying historic Main Streets to building all-new retail spaces, pop-ups and parks … this is part of our commitment to rural America, and we can’t wait to see all these creative plans come to life.”

T-Mobile says that it plans to hire 7,500 employees and award $25 million in grants to small towns and rural communities during the next five years. The total value of the grants announced yesterday was not disclosed.

Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced that Woodstock, IL, was the winner of the Hometown Techover contest. The community will get goods and services that the carrier values at $3 million.

The top 3 national wireless carrier is increasing its focus on rural America, with plans to expand its rural 5G footprint and launch home internet service via fixed wireless. Part of the motivation for this focus is mandates from the FCC to get approval for its Sprint acquisition, while the aggressive carrier also sees some potential growth opportunity across rural markets as well.

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