US agency awards $255 million in new broadband funds

The RUS has now awarded nearly $900 million in broadband grants and loans

The U.S. Rural Utilities Service (RUS) on Thursday announced US$254.6 million in funding for 22 broadband deployment projects in 18 states across the U.S. as it works to wrap up a first round of broadband funding made available in a huge economic stimulus package passed by Congress early last year.

The RUS has now awarded more than $895 million of about $2.5 billion it has available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. On Tuesday, RUS and the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced they were extending the deadline to apply for a second round of funding from March 15 to later in the month.

The RUS announcement came on the same day that agency administrator Jonathan Adelstein testified at a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the broadband stimulus. Adelstein and NTIA administrator Larry Strickling faced questions from several lawmakers about how their two agencies were spending the money, with critics saying the two agencies were funding projects that compete with existing broadband providers.

The new broadband projects will help rural areas attract new businesses, educational opportunities and jobs, said Tom Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the parent agency of the RUS.

"The Obama Administration understands that bringing broadband to rural America is an economic gateway for people, business owners, and key institutions -- such as libraries, hospitals, public safety buildings and community centers," Vilsack said in a statement. Broadband is important for rural communities to remain strong in the 21st Century."

The RUS money will be matched by $13.1 million from private investment, the RUS said in a press release.

Among the projects:

-- The agency selected Totah Communications to receive a $4.8 million loan and a $3.6 million grant to provide broadband service in rural areas of northeastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas, the RUS said. The areas currently have no broadband service, the agency said.

-- In Idaho, the Coeur d'Alene Tribe's Coeur d'Alene Reservation Fiber-to-the-Home Project received a $6.1 million loan and a $6.1 million grant to provide broadband to community facilities and about 3,800 unserved and underserved households on the Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation.

-- Southwest Michigan Communications received a $4.2 million grant and a $4.2 million loan to provide broadband services to residents in the rural Paw Paw, Michigan, area.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags broadbandUS

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?