Madison Telephone LLC to Provide USDA-Funded Broadband Service to 200 Square Miles in Southeast Kansas Thanks to the Recovery Act
Mary Meyer, who began working for the Madison Telephone LLC in Kansas for the first generation owners, is now working with the third generation to prepare them to take over the company upon her retirement…when this USDA funded Broadband project is complete.
Mary said, “If President Obama was to show up on my door step, I would give him the biggest hug and kiss on his check because we are so thankful and happy we will be able to use the Recovery Act funds to bring broadband service to Southeast Kansas and our customers, now and in the future.”
There is excitement in Mary’s voice when she talks about the USDA loan and grant for the Madison-Lamont Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Project which will provide service to the telephone exchanges of Madison and Lamont in Kansas. Madison Telephone will match the award with almost three quarters of a million dollars in private investment.
“We have realized for some time that the FCC had a priority of desiring to reach all Americans with high speed internet service (broadband). Madison Telephone has looked at this, but just could not see our way clear to handle such a project. Some of our customers are 12 miles from our central office. The cost of a buried fiber project was beyond our financial means.” Mary remarked.
“The stimulus funding was indeed a “God Send” as our company could never have undertaken such a project and our community would not have the advantage of broadband. The lack of high speed broadband also stifles economic development, which is so vital in a rural community. This project will not only create jobs and orders for materials, but will save jobs,” she said.
Madison Telephone basically had a “shovel ready” project, due to the fact their engineering firm had the entire construction mapping and was able to overlay the fiber project on the maps. Madison’s consulting company had run the projections for the application, so they were ready. The construction company that will be doing most of the work is based in Frankfort, Kansas.
Since Madison Telephone is a USDA Rural Utilities Services borrower, they applied thru the BIP (Broadband Initiatives Program) for a 50 percent loan and 50 percent grant.