The USDA made ReConnect awards totaling $47 million for broadband projects in rural Virginia and Texas.

The stated mandate of this phase of the ongoing program is to invest $600 million in equally divided between grants, loans and combined grant loans. The program now has exceeded that goal. To date, $621,135,838 has been awarded to 70 active projects in 31 states and territories, according to USDA.

The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative is getting a $28 million loan and grant combination to build an FTTP network in a 704 square-mile area in Albemarle, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Campbell, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Greene, Goochland, Louisa, Orange, Prince Edward and Powhatan counties. The service areas reach 17,023 households, 35 pre-subscribed businesses, 20 pre-subscribed farms, 15 educational facilities, 15 critical community facilities and six health care centers.

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USDA Texas ReConnect Awards
In Texas, an investment of $19 million will be divided between three projects. In all, the area covered includes almost 7,000 households, 46 farms, 32 pre-subscribed businesses, 19 critical care communities and 15 educational facilities.

Border to Border Communications will use a $5 million grant and $5 million loan to create an FTTP network serving 5,153 households, 20 farms,15-pre subscribed businesses, 15 educational facilities and 10 critical community facilities in a 938 square mile areas of Webb and Zapata counties.

Mid-South Synergy will receive a $6 million grant to build an FTTP broadband network will provide symmetrical transmission speeds of 100 Mbps or more in a 385 square mile area in Brazos, Grimes, Madison and Walter counties. The project will cover 786 households, 26 farms, 17 pre-subscribed businesses and seven critical community facilities.

Peoples Telephone Cooperative will use a $3 million grant to deploy a FTTP network covering a 28 square mile area of Titus, Camp and Wood counties. It will cover 914 households and two critical community facilities.

The next phase of the ReConnect Program, which aims to bring broadband to additional unserved or underserved rural areas, is heating up as the first phase winds down. The USDA began accepting applications for the second phase of the program, which will total $550 million, on January 31.

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