Over $700M in funding for rural broadband projects unveiled by USDA
Four recipients in Washington state are among those that will share in the funding.
The Biden administration announced $714 million to help rural areas expand internet access. (Getty Images)
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration on Monday announced it will send $714 million to help rural areas in 19 states connect to the internet, including tens of millions of dollars in loans and grants for Washington state.
The Washington state projects include:
- A $9.2 million grant and a $4.6 million loan for Public Utility District No.1 of Jefferson County.
- An $18.1 million grant and an $18.1 million loan for Home Telephone Company Inc.
- A $24.2 million grant for Public Utility District 1 of Lewis County.
- A $3 million loan for Hat Island Telephone Company.
“The president honestly believes that in order to have the fullest opportunity available to bring manufacturing back, to bring precision agriculture, to reconnect young people to economic opportunity in rural places, the expansion of broadband access is essential,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on a call with reporters.
“And the announcement today is an additional step being taken by this administration to make that a reality in all parts of the country, regardless of how remote and rural they may be,” added Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa.
Congress approved the funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program in the bipartisan infrastructure law that members of both political parties approved last year.
The Agriculture Department’s funding is a fraction of the $65 billion that U.S. lawmakers authorized for programs that aim to connect all Americans to the internet.
The additional funding is being distributed by the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department, each of which have rural broadband and internet connectivity programs of their own.
This tranche of funding from the USDA, Vilsack said, would go towards 33 different projects. Outside of Washington these include:
Alaska: A $35 million grant for Interior Telephone Company.
Alaska: A $35 million grant for Mukluk Telephone Company Inc.
Alaska: A $17.9 million grant for Copper Valley Telephone Cooperative Inc.
Alaska: A $12.6 million grant for Matanuska Telecom Association Inc.
Arkansas: A $30.4 million loan for Decatur Telephone Company Inc.
Arkansas and Missouri: A total of $13.4 million in grants and $13.4 million in loans for Ozark Telephone Company.
Arizona: A $3.5 million grant for South Central Utah Telephone Association Inc.
Arizona: A $25 million grant for Colorado River Indian Tribes.
California: A $25 million grant for Cal-Ore Telephone.
Georgia: A $9.5 million grant for Pembroke Telephone Company Inc.
Idaho and Oregon: A $15.4 million grant and a $15.4 million loan for Oregon Telephone Corporation.
Kansas: A $50 million loan for Craw-Kan Telephone Cooperative Inc.
Kentucky: A $9.4 million grant and a $9.4 million loan for Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation Inc.
Kentucky: A $25 million grant for Duo County Telephone Cooperative.
Minnesota: A $7.9 million grant and a $7.9 million loan for Johnson Telephone Company.
Minnesota: A $6.8 million grant and a $6.8 million loan for MiEnergy Cooperative.
Minnesota: A $19 million grant for Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association.
Missouri: A $29.5 million loan for Goodman Telephone Company Inc.
Missouri: A $14.2 million grant and a $14.2 million loan for Seneca Telephone Company.
Montana: A $12.1 million grant for InterBel Telephone Cooperative Inc.
Montana: A $35 million grant for Nemont Telephone Cooperative Inc.
New Mexico and Oklahoma: A $21.7 million grant and a $21.7 million loan for Panhandle Telephone Cooperative Inc.
Ohio: A $21.3 million loan for Amplex Electric Inc.
Oklahoma: A $5 million grant and a $5 million loan for Canadian Valley Telephone Company.
Oregon: A $30.6 million loan for Beaver Creek Cooperative Telephone Company.
Oregon: A $10.2 million grant and a $10.2 million loan for North-State Telephone Co.
South Carolina: A $6.2 million grant for Home Telephone Company Inc.
Tennessee: A $1.6 million grant for DeKalb Telephone Cooperative Inc.
Utah: A $2.2 million grant and a $2.2 million loan for Beehive Telephone Company Inc.
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