Article, Member Stories

Congratulations to NRTC Members Winning Round 3 ReConnect Funding

Randy Sukow

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Fiber Spool Field

So far, 33 NRTC members have won funding through Round 3 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect program to support rural broadband construction. In total, the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has awarded about $858 million in Round 3, according to its most recent announcement. NRTC members have won about two-thirds of that total. More announcements are likely to follow in coming weeks and months.

Rural telephone companies have dominated so far, claiming 41 out of 53 total awards announced. However, three NRTC-member electric cooperatives also won support – Continental Divide Electric Cooperative Inc. in New Mexico, and San Luis Valley Rural Electric Cooperative and Delta-Montrose Electric Association, both in Colorado.

The ReConnect program offers support for broadband projects in three forms. Rural companies can apply for loans, grants or 50/50-percent loan/grant combinations. Thirty-four of the first 53 awards have been grants with only seven loans and 12 combos.

NRTC members that have won funding include:

Meanwhile, RUS has begun taking applications for ReConnect Round 4 which is offering an additional $1.15 billion broadband funding. NRTC currently is helping members complete Round 4 applications which are due to RUS on Nov. 2 (PDF). A recording of a recent NRTC webinar on new filing procedures in Round 4 is available on the NRTC web site.

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