USDA Awards $86 Million in Loans for Rural Telco Fiber Projects

Randy Sukow


Federal Funding

The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday announced that it was awarding a total of $86,691,000 in loans to six rural telephone companies. Each of the loans through USDA’s Telecommunications Infrastructure program involves implementation of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) or fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology.

The list of six includes three NRTC members:

  • Chibardun Telephone Cooperative, Cameron, WI, is receiving a loan of $10,217,000 to expand existing FTTP facilities by 328.5 miles. Upon project completion, two of Chibardun’s exchanges will have 100 percent fiber coverage.
  • Pulaski White Rural Telephone Cooperative, Buffalo, IN, is retiring all copper infrastructure in two of its exchanges and replacing it with FTTH. A $19 million loan will help cover 355 miles of fiber construction.
  • Southwest Arkansas Telephone Cooperative, Texarkana, AR, is building gigabit symmetrical FTTH service to an estimated 4,600 subscribers using a $10,412,000 loan.

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