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Agricultural News


Thirty One Million Dollars Headed to Oklahoma for Rural Broadband Buildout in Latest ReConnect Funding from USDA

Thu, 22 Sep 2022 05:00:20 CDT

Thirty One Million Dollars Headed to Oklahoma for Rural Broadband Buildout in Latest ReConnect Funding from USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is awarding $502 million in loans and grants to provide high-speed internet access for rural residents and businesses in 20 states. The funding is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in rural infrastructure and providing reliable, affordable, high-speed internet for all. USDA is making the investments through the third funding round of the ReConnect Program. The Department will make additional investments for rural high-speed internet in the coming months, including funding from the Infrastructure Law, which provides $65 billion investment to expand affordable, high-speed internet to all communities across the U.S.


“President Biden’s commitment to high-speed internet in rural communities is foundational to ensuring that the nation’s economy continues to expand from the bottom up and the middle out,” Vilsack said. “High-speed internet will improve the rural economy. It will help rural businesses grow and get access to new markets. It will help rural residents get access to more and better health care and educational opportunities. USDA knows rural America is America’s backbone, and prosperity here means prosperity for all.”


USDA is making 32 awards in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. Many of the awards will help rural people and businesses on Tribal lands and people in socially vulnerable communities.


As part of today’s announcement:


Oklahoma’s Southern Plains Cable LLC is receiving an $8.1 million loan and an $8.1 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network that will connect 7,093 people, 230 businesses, six farms and 29 schools to high-speed internet in Caddo, Comanche, Cotton and Grady counties. Southern Plains will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs. This project will serve the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache-Fort Sill Apache tribal statistical area as well as socially vulnerable communities in Cotton County. (Editor's Note- Southern Plains Cable LLC is wholy owned by Hilliary of Medicine Park, Oklahoma- the parent company of OklahomaFarmReport.Com.)


The Osage Nation in Oklahoma is receiving over $13 million to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This network will connect 831 people, 18 businesses, and 128 farms to high-speed internet in Osage County in Oklahoma. The Osage Nation will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity Program. This project will serve the Osage Nation and socially vulnerable communities in Osage County.


In southeast Oklahoma- Valliant Telephone Company Inc. is receiving $883,000 in grant money to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network. This network will connect 200 people, 16 businesses and one educational facility to high-speed internet in Choctaw and McCurtain counties in Oklahoma. Valliant Telephone Company Inc. will make high-speed internet affordable by implementing the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs, and offering four internet packages. This project will serve the Choctaw Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Area and socially vulnerable communities in McCurtain County.


In southwestern Missouri- Net Vision Communications LLC is receiving a $12.4 million loan to connect 4,587 people, 300 businesses, nine farms and 15 public schools to high-speed internet in Barton County, Missouri. This project will serve socially vulnerable communities in the county.



USDA has announced $858 million in the third round of ReConnect funding so far and plans to make more investment announcements under this program in the coming weeks. Today’s announcement follows the Department’s July 28 announcement that it has invested $356 million through the ReConnect Program to help very rural residents and businesses in 11 states (PDF, 192 KB) gain access to high-speed internet.



To be eligible for ReConnect Program funding, an applicant must serve an area where high-speed internet service speeds are lower than 100 megabits per second (Mbps) (download) and 20 Mbps (upload). The applicant must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service at speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in its proposed service area.


To see the full list of grants and loans being awarded in this round of the ReConnect Program- click on the PDF link below.



   

03906_09.22.2022-ReConnect-Round-3-BroadbandGrantsLoans.pdf
   

 

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