Hilda Gay Legg Announces Availability of $11.3 Million in Broadband Grants; NTCA Members Among Recipients

September 24, 2003, Boston, Mass. – During a keynote address at the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association’s 2003 Fall Conference Rural Utilities Service Administrator Hilda Gay Legg announced the availability of $11.3 million in broadband grants, as a part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect supplemental grant.

The grants will be used to spur broadband connectivity in areas that do not have essential broadband services for police and fire protection services, hospitals, libraries and schools. 

The 33 recipients of FY03 grant monies will use the funds to provide Contact NTCA at 703-351-2000community residents with computer and Internet access.  Among the recipients are NTCA member companies, San Carlos Telecommunications (Ariz.) and UBTA Telecommunications (Utah). 

"The future of rural America is directly linked to its ability to access the global marketplace.  Rural residents must have broadband connectivity and the Community Connect grants will provide that connectivity to the communities that the award recipients serve," said Hilda Gay Legg.

Background:
The Community Connect grant program supplements USDA’s Rural Development’s standard high-speed telecommunications loan program. 

In FY02 40 awards were presented and in FY03 33 recipients were selected.

###

NTCA is the premiere association representing more than 560 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America. NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs. Visit us at www.ntca.org.