On behalf of the Rural Utilities Service, Dept. of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Feb. 17 announced the awarding of 11 broadband infrastructure projects in nine states–an investment of more than $277 million–marking the one-year anniversary of Pres. Obama signing the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Announcing the opening of a second, and final, round of grant application filing this past Tuesday, the RUS and the Dept. of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration continue to work their way through the unexpectedly large number of first-round broadband stimulus grants.
“The Obama Administration and USDA are bringing broadband to rural America so that Americans can compete in a global 21st Century economy. We are opening new opportunities not only for homes and businesses, but for community institutions such as health facilities, libraries, public buildings and community centers,” Secretary Vilsack commented in a news release.
Here’s the rundown of the grants awarded by the RUS on Feb. 17:
Smithville Telephone Company, Inc.: $37,729,143 loan. The funding will provide 3,815 households, 209 businesses, and 12 community anchor institutions with access to broadband service;
Southeast Iowa Rural Wireless Broadband: $3,836,926 loan. The funding will provide Internet services to 80 rural communities using proven wireless technology;
Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation (MRTCC) ILEC Broadband: $39,843,535 loan and $38,281,044 grant. The funding will provide fiber to Morgan, Menifee, Wolfe, and Elliott counties that will result in 20 Mbps bandwidth to end users;
Allen’s Cable – Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Broadband Network Extension: $3,584,680 loan and $3,513,697 grant. The funding will extend fiber into rural areas of three South Louisiana Parishes;
LBH, LLC, – Rural Broadband Powered by Fiber: $16,693,439 loan and $16,691,939 grant. The funding will expand existing broadband into rural areas around Moss Bluff, Oakdale, and Vinton;
Southwest Minnesota Broadband Group (SWMBG): $6,350,000 loan and $6,350,250 grant. The funding will provide service to eight rural communities throughout Southwest Minnesota;
Unionville, Missouri FTTP Project: $5,140,458 loan and $5,140,458 grant. The funding will provide broadband services to households, businesses, and key community organizations that are currently underserved in the Unionville area;
Western New Mexico Telephone Company, Broadband Infrastructure Project: $11,516,679 grant. The funding will provide last mile broadband services to remote and unserved locations and critical community facilities throughout Western New Mexico;
Baca Valley Telephone Company, Inc.: $1,651,000 loan and $1,586,000 grant. The funding will expand fiber optics to Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) nodes in rural Northeastern New Mexico, replacing outdated deteriorating copper wire and low bandwidth microwave transport systems in some areas, while providing new connectivity in others, and enabling advanced, high-speed DSL service throughout the area;
Sandy Broadband Infrastructure Project: $374,548 loan and $374,537 grant. The funding will provide broadband service to the underserved rural area of Sandy by improving and expanding wireless Internet service;
Southern Texas Broadband Infrastructure Development and Adoption Project: $40,093,153 loan and $38,520,868 grant. The funding will develop a broadband infrastructure in eleven unserved and underserved rural communities of the South Texas Plains.