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Government Awards Funds to 11 Projects in Nine States

in Broadband Data/Broadband's Impact/National Broadband Plan/Recovery Act/States/Wireless by

WASHINGTON, February 18, 2010 - The Agriculture Department announced Wednesday it has selected 11 broadband infrastructure projects that are designed to improve educational and economic opportunities throughout nine states.

"The broadband projects we're announcing today will create construction jobs now to build high speed Internet networks in unserved and underserved communities, said department Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Deployment of broadband will support job creation and rural economic development.”

Approximately $277 million will be invested in the 11 projects through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. An additional $1.6 million in private investment will be provided in matching funds. Congress provided the Agriculture Department $2.5 billion in funding to help bring broadband to certain rural areas.

Below is a complete list of the award recipients by state:

Smithville Telephone Company: $37,729,143 loan. The funding will provide 3,815 households, 209 businesses, and 12 community anchor institutions with access to broadband service.

Southeast Iowa Rural Wireless Broadband: $3,836,926 loan. The funding will provide Internet services to 80 rural communities using proven wireless technology.

Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation Broadband: $39,843,535 loan and $38,281,044 grant. The funding will provide fiber to Morgan, Menifee, Wolfe and Elliott counties resulting in 20 Mbps bandwidth to end users.

Allen's Cable - Fiber-to-the-Premises Broadband Network Extension: $3,584,680 loan and $3,513,697 grant. The funding will extend fiber into rural areas of three southern Louisiana parishes.

LBH - Rural Broadband Powered by Fiber: $16,693,439 loan and $16,691,939 grant. The funding will expand existing broadband into rural areas around Moss Bluff, Oakdale, and Vinton.

Southwest Minnesota Broadband Group: $6,350,000 loan and $6,350,250 grant. The funding will provide service to eight rural communities.

Unionville, Missouri FTTP Project: $5,140,458 loan and $5,140,458 grant. The funding will provide broadband services to households, businesses and key community organizations.

New Mexico
Western New Mexico Telephone Co., Broadband Infrastructure Project: $11,516,679 grant. The funding will provide last mile broadband services to remote and unserved locations and critical community facilities throughout Western New Mexico.

Baca Valley Telephone Co.: $1,651,000 loan and $1,586,000 grant. The funding will expand fiber optics to digital subscriber line nodes in rural Northeastern New Mexico, replacing outdated deteriorating copper wire and low bandwidth microwave transport systems in some areas, while providing new connectivity in others, and enabling advanced, high-speed DSL service throughout the area.

Sandy Broadband Infrastructure Project: $374,548 loan and $374,537 grant. The funding will provide broadband service to the underserved rural area of Sandy by improving and expanding wireless Internet service.

Southern Texas Broadband Infrastructure Development and Adoption Project: $40,093,153 loan and $38,520,868 grant. The funding will develop a broadband infrastructure in eleven unserved and underserved rural communities of the South Texas Plains.

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