USDA Invests $32 Million in High-Speed Broadband in OklahomaMon, 16 Aug 2021 12:43:16 CDT
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $167 million in 12 states to deploy broadband infrastructure in rural areas without sufficient access to high-speed internet. Rural Oklahoma is receiving more than $32 million.
“Generations ago, the federal government recognized that without affordable access to electricity, Americans couldn’t fully participate in modern society and the modern economy. Broadband internet is the new electricity. It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning and health care, and to stay connected,” Secretary Vilsack said. “This is why President Biden’s American Jobs Plan prioritizes building ‘future-proof’ broadband infrastructure - like the investments we’re announcing today - in areas without sufficient access to broadband, so that we finally reach 100 percent high-speed broadband coverage.”
These investments will benefit rural people in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.
Projects in Oklahoma are:
· Texhoma Fiber LLC will use a $2,648,931 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural Oklahoma. The funded service area includes 353 households, 890 people, three educational facilities, two essential community facilities, two health care facilities, 60 businesses and a farm spread over one square mile.
· Southern Plains Cable LLC will use a $2,228,689 loan and $2,228,689 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises and a hybrid-fiber-coax network in rural Oklahoma. The funded service area includes 123 households, 293 people, an essential community facility, seven farms, and five businesses spread over five square miles.
· Terral Telephone Company will use a $1,854,675 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural Oklahoma. The funded service area includes 105 households, 255 people, two educational facilities, three essential community facilities, a health care facility, 11 businesses and 74 farms spread over 132 square miles.
· Oklahoma Western Telephone Company will use a $23,344,336 grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in rural Oklahoma. The funded service area includes 947 households, 2,459 people, an educational facility, two essential community facilities, 17 businesses and 301 farms spread over 297 square miles.
The investments being announced today are part of the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program as well as other funds made available for the program since 2018. USDA expects to begin inviting applications for a third round of program funds in the coming weeks.
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