RUS Announces Funding for New Broadband Projects

  • FTTH
MINNEAPOLIS – The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) telecommunications loan program - rescued from budget cuts at the eleventh hour - will supply nearly $192 million in new loans for rural broadband projects in eight states, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced. This financing is part of the program's $690 million investment during fiscal year 2011 and is in addition to the $3.5 billion that RUS awarded for broadband stimulus projects. The telecommunications infrastructure program funds facilities and equipment to upgrade, expand, maintain and replace rural telecommunications networks.

"A significant portion of America still does not have adequate broadband for job and economic development activities," Vilsack said. "Working with our partners, including cooperatives and the telecommunications industry, USDA delivers broadband to rural areas, creating jobs and providing critical financial, educational and health care services. We've made a good start, but it is clear that the work of the Obama Administration and USDA is far from done."

In Oregon, Molalla Telephone Company will receive a $22.5 million loan to expand its FTTH coverage to approximately 85 percent of its subscribers. The broadband technologies to be used by the other loan recipients were not identified, but most of them have previously built FTTH in parts of their service areas.

Recipients and loan amounts announced were:

Farmers Mutual Telephone Company (Iowa): $18,205,000
IAMO Telephone Company (Iowa and Missouri): $14,972,000
Wilson Telephone Company (Kansas): $14,312,000
3 Rivers Telephone Cooperative (Montana): $70,000,000
Molalla Telephone Company (Oregon): $22,500,000
Coleman County Telephone Cooperative (Texas): $22,540,000
Western Wahkiakum County Telephone Company (Washington): $12,708,000
Baldwin Telecom (Wisconsin): $16,716,000

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