Two Telcos to Receive USDA Funding to Boost Rural Broadband

  • Hartington Telecommunications Co.
  • InterBel Telephone Cooperative
  • United States Department of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, DC - Two rural telecommunications companies in Nebraska and Montana will receive funding to expand broadband service, according to an announcement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The funding is one of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

"These loans will provide the necessary telecommunications services essential for rural economic development," Vilsack said. "Broadband offers rural communities greater access to educational, health care, business and social services and opens the door to increased global competition. As part of the Obama Administration's goal to improve infrastructure, we continue to fund projects that expand broadband service in rural areas."

The funding will provide more than $26 million from USDA's Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency, to install fiber networks to improve telecommunications services in these areas.

  • In Montana, InterBel Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will receive a $20.8 million loan to complete a Fiber-to-the-Premises network to help meet future growth requirements.

  • In Nebraska, Hartington Telecommunications Co., Inc., will use a $5.2 million loan to replace copper with Fiber-to-the-Home technology. USDA funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.


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