USDA invests $71M in high-speed broadband for rural Kansas and Oklahoma
WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that USDA is investing $71 million to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved rural areas in Kansas and Oklahoma. This funding is part of USDA’s round one investments through the ReConnect Pilot Program.
“The need for rural broadband has never been more apparent than it is now — as our nation manages the coronavirus national emergency. Access to telehealth services, remote learning for school children, and remote business operations all require access to broadband,” said Secretary Perdue. “I am so proud of our rural communities who have been working day in and day out, just like they always do, producing the food and fiber America depends on. We need them more than ever during these trying times, and expanding access to this critical infrastructure will help ensure rural America prospers for years to come.”
Totah Communications Inc. is receiving an $18.9 million loan and an $18.9 million grant to construct 621 miles of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband infrastructure. This award will extend broadband availability to 8,155 residents, 20 farms and 15 businesses in Rogers, Nowata, Washington and Osage counties in Oklahoma; and Montgomery and Chautauqua counties Kansas.
KanOkla Shidler LLC is receiving a $15 million loan and a $15 million grant to construct 251 miles of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) in Osage County, Okla. This project will benefit 2,101 residents, 26 farms and 28 businesses.
Cross Cable Television LLC is receiving a $2.2 million USDA grant to construct a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network in Le Flore and McIntosh counties in Oklahoma. This project will benefit 265 residents, 13 farms and six businesses.
Carnegie Telephone Company is receiving a $1.2 million loan to construct fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure in the town of Carnegie, Okla., in Caddo County. This project will benefit 926 residents.
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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign SB 21-87, known as the Farm Workers Bill of Rights, though much of the content will be decided through the rulemaking process.