The Buildout: USDA ReConnect awards $759M for broadband in 24 states
This week in broadband builds: USDA awards $759 million for rural broadband, SiFi Networks starts citywide build in Saratoga Springs, Kinetic goes to Kentucky, Vermont awards $26 million – and more.
The Buildout is a column from Light Reading tracking broadband network deployments. This week we're tracking fiber broadband builds reaching over 200,000 locations across the US and UK. Send us your news right here. Keep up with every installment of The Buildout here.
- The USDA on Thursday announced it will award $759 million through its ReConnect program for 49 broadband projects across 24 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Palau. The projects will cover nearly 152,000 premises. This marks the third round of ReConnect awards thus far. Of that amount, roughly $667.9 million is in the form of grants and $91.4 million is in the form of loans, according to comments made by Secretary Tom Vilsack on a call with reporters. The program, which aims to expand broadband in the rural US, has distributed $1.6 billion for broadband builds this year and is accepting applications for its fourth round now. All ReConnect builds have a five-year timeframe. Some of the awardees announced Thursday are:
- North Carolina's AccessOn Networks is receiving $17.5 million to connect thousands of people, 100 businesses, 76 farms and 22 educational facilities in Halifax and Warren counties in North Carolina.
- Eastern Slope Rural Telephone Association is getting $18.7 million to deploy fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) to thousands of people, 898 farms, 110 businesses and 17 educational facilities in Colorado.
- Tekstar Communications is receiving $12.6 million to connect thousands of people, 171 farms, 103 businesses and an educational facility to a fiber network in Minnesota.
- The Public Service Telephone Company in Georgia is getting $36.5 million to connect 21,289 people, 569 businesses, 323 farms and 29 educational facilities.
- In Illinois, Shelby Electric Cooperative Inc. is getting $26.5 million to deploy a network connecting over 4,000 people, 61 businesses, 511 farms and two educational facilities.
- The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority will receive $7.1 million to connect nearly 5,000 people, 27 businesses, ten education facilities and two farms in Navajo Country in Arizona.
High-speed internet is essential for our state's economy and for Kentuckians to access health care, education and more. I was proud to join @GoKineticHome, which is providing – for the first time – internet to 7,200 homes and businesses in Zoneton and areas of Bullitt County. pic.twitter.com/jkJM1su45e— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) October 25, 2022
— Nicole Ferraro, editor, Light Reading, and host of "The Divide" podcast.