U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program announced awards totaling almost $33.6 million in Oklahoma, New York and Maine. The USDA ReConnect awards will be a mix of grants and loans.

In southeastern Oklahoma, Pine Telephone will receive a $5.6 million grant and Pine Cellular will receive a grant of $7.7 million. The FTTP projects will serve 1,022 households, 44 farms and ranches, 35 small business and police and fire departments in the towns of Rattan and Haworth, which are in Pushmataha and McCurtain counties.

The New York investment is for $10.3 million. The grant goes to Yates County to deploy a FTTH network capable of 1 Gbps services to 2,875 households, 10 pre-subscribed farms, three pre-subscribed businesses and two education facilities in Yates County.

USDA ReConnect Maine Awards
Four providers were named in Maine. The total investment will serve 4,527 households and 215 businesses:

  • The town of Arrowsic will receive a $604,254 grant and a loan of the same amount to serve 237 households, 20 pre-subscribed businesses and four pre-subscribed farms. The network will connect the Lincoln County island community. Those benefiting include a school, a power district, a municipal office, a museum, a post office, a library and inns and small businesses. The project’s service area covers 40 households, a critical community facility, 11 pre-subscribed farms and 15 pre-subscribed businesses.
  • Mohegan Plantation will get a $626,000 grant to connect the island community. The service area includes 40 households, an educational facility, a critical community facility, 11 pre-subscribed farms, and 15 pre-subscribed businesses.
  • The town of Roque Bluffs will get a $893,170 grant to build a fiber network in Washington County. The network will connect 166 households, 22 pre-subscribed farms and 16 pre-subscribed businesses. The press release says that the network will “connect to the Downeast Ring of Maine’s ‘three-ring-binder’ network backbone in Machias, 4.5 miles from the town line on Roque Bluffs Road.”
  • The fourth USDA ReConnect Maine award, a $3.5 million grant and $3.5 million loan, will enable the Biddeford Internet Corp. to expand is gigabit FTTP to connect 4,084 households, 30 pre-subscribed farms, 28 educational facilities, 23 pre-subscribed businesses, 15 health care centers and 12 critical community facilities in Hebron, Sumner, Hartford, Buckfield, Canton, North Turner, Turner, South Paris and West Paris, according to the USDA.

The USDA is nearing completion of the first phase of the ReConnect Program. The phase is to award a total $600 million split evenly between grants, loans and hybrid grant/loans. The latest awards bring the total to almost $513 million. There have been 54 awards in 27 states and territories.

The ReConnect Program is accepting applications for the second phase of the program, which will total $550 million.

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