USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein and the Rural Development Broadband Division Staff welcomed over 200 people to the National Broadband Workshop on April 20 – 21, 2011 in Downtown Denver.
While rural communities face unique challenges in creating and sustaining good jobs, they are also presented with unprecedented opportunities for economic growth. Increasing their access to broadband is one way in which Rural Development can assist communities on this journey. Providing broadband service to our rural communities is a vital platform for job creation and a springboard for economic development for years to come. Workshop sessions held focused on a variety of topics including financial analysis and business plan preparation.
This year, the broadband program is expected to provide up to $400 million in loans nationwide.
Yesterday, Adelstein announced almost $40 million in loans for projects in Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma. The telephone companies and cooperatives that have been selected to receive the financing will construct more than 1,000 miles of Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP) systems.
For example, Woodhull Telephone Company, in Woodhull, Ill., has been selected for a $3.4 million loan to lay 111 miles of fiber optic cable. In southwest Oklahoma, the Medicine Park Telephone Company has been selected for a $4.2 million loan to lay 41 new miles of fiber and copper cable in two subdivisions and finance digital equipment for improved central office switching. The funding also will be used to purchase excavation equipment and five acres of land where a warehouse will be constructed.
For more information about USDA Rural Development programs and how they can benefit your community, click here.