NTCA Members Win USDA ReConnect Rural Broadband Funding

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Carolyn Just, 703-351-2015, cjust@ntca.org 

Photo courtesy of Home Telecom

Arlington, Va., (December 12, 2019)-Over the past several weeks, several NTCA member companies have been awarded rural broadband funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ReConnect pilot program. They are: 

  • All West Communications Inc. of Wyoming and Utah received a $4.79 million grant to deploy or upgrade high-speed broadband in the county of Sweetwater, Wyoming.
  • Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC; Shallotte, N.C.) was awarded a $7.9 million grant to deploy fiber to unserved and underserved rural areas of Columbus County, N.C. The project, known as ATMC’s Faster Columbus Advanced Connectivity for Communities, Education, Safety and Support (ACCESS), will make service available to 4,057 households, 18 businesses, 22 farms, 15 educational facilities, three health care facilities and 10 critical community facilities spread over approximately 150 square miles. 
  • Beehive Telephone Company (Lake Point, Utah) will receive $2.4 million for a fiber-to-the-premises network in Garfield, Wayne and Box Elder counties.
  • Cordova Telecom will receive $18.88 million for high-speed broadband infrastructure in Yakutat, Alaska.
  • Emery Telecommunications & Video, Inc., based in Orangeville, Utah, is receiving $2.7 million to develop an FTTP network in San Juan County in Utah and Dolores County, Colorado.
  • Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. will use a $2 million loan for a FTTH network in Jackson and DeKalb counties in Alabama.
  • Farmers Mutual Telephone Company (FMTC) received $6.4 million in first-round Reconnect Pilot Program funding to connect 477 households, 35 farms and 21 businesses in Iowa's Montgomery and Page counties.
  • Home Telephone Company (doing business as Home Telecom) will use $8.1 million in ReConnect grant funding to deploy 96 miles of fiber-optic cable in unserved areas of Charleston and Berkeley counties in South Carolina.
  • National Telephone of Alabama, Inc. (doing business as TEC) will use $2.7 million for a FTTP network in Colbert County. The award comes in the form of a 50% grant/50% loan.
  • Oregon Telephone Corporation will use a $6 million ReConnect grant for high-speed broadband in rural Wheeler and Grant counties.
  • Valley Telecommunications Cooperative (D.B.A. Valley FiberCom; Herreid, S.D.) will use a $9.5 million ReConnecty grant to deploy fiber to the home in Brookings, Kingsbury and Moody counties in South Dakota. The project will make service available to 1,750 rural homes, 27 farms, 17 businesses and one critical community facility.
  • Wabash Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will use a $12.8 million 50 percent loan-grant combination to deploy 298 miles of fiber-optic cable in unserved areas of Jefferson and Wayne counties in Illinois. 

USDA previously announced awards for NTCA member companies Premier Communications (Sioux Center, Iowa), GRM Networks (Princeton, Mo.), Star Communications (Clinton, N.C.), and Oklahoma Western Telephone Company (Clayton, Okla.).

On the awards, NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield said, "NTCA members have been building a better future for their rural communities for decades, and as hometown providers, their commitment to connecting rural America is second to none. My sincerest congratulations to the awardees.”

The ReConnect program was established by Congress in March 2018 with a budget of $600 million, to be awarded in the form of grants, loans and grant/loan combinations. Deployments target unserved or underserved rural areas.