The USDA’s ReConnect program yesterday announced grant and combined grant/loan investments in rural broadband totaling almost $105 million in four states. All told, the investments, which are part of the $550 million second round of the program, will help build FTTP networks reaching almost 31,500 people, almost 900 businesses, more than 600 farms and assorted other community buildings such as healthcare centers, fire stations and educational facilities.
Illinois garnered the most funding in two awards:
Hamilton County Telephone Co-op got a $20 million grant and a $20 million loan to connect 19,749 people, 462 businesses, 347 farms, 16 educational facilities, three post offices and four fire stations in Saline, Williamson, Franklin and White counties.
Flat Rock Telephone Co-op Inc. got a $3.2 million grant and a $3.2 million loan to connect 1,460 people, 50 farms, 13 businesses and a fire station to high-speed broadband internet in Crawford and Lawrence counties.
In Colorado, Emery Telecommunications & Video Inc. got a $6.3 million grant to connect 1,638 people, 91 farms, 52 businesses, three fire stations and two post offices to high-speed broadband internet in Dolores, San Miguel and Montezuma counties.
There were two awards in Alaska: AP&T Wireless Inc. got a $21.5 million grant to connect 225 people, 32 businesses, an educational facility, a post office and a fire station in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area.
Unicom Inc. got a $25 million grant to connect 7,441 people, 310 businesses, 10 educational facilities, seven post offices, four fire stations and a city hall to connect Kodiak Island Borough, Lake and Peninsula Borough, Aleutians East Borough and Aleutians West Census Area.
In Iowa, South Slope Cooperative Telephone Company got a $2.7 million grant and a $2.7 million loan to connect 1,984 people, 147 farms and 26 businesses to connect Iowa and Johnson counties in Iowa.
The second round of the ReConnect program is picking up momentum with a flurry of announcements over the past couple weeks impacting numerous states.