Sunday, January 25, 2009

Helping Rural Communities

Open Range Communications headquartered near Denver has just finalized a $267 million loan agreement with the USDA Rural Development Loan Program to provide broadband service to 518 rural communities in 17 states. In addition to the Rural Development loan, Open Range has secured $100 million in financing from One Equity Partners, the private equity arm of JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Broadband services will be provided to rural communities in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Open Range will use Wi-Max technology and also offer satellite services.

Since 2001, the USDA Rural Development Loan Program has invested $111 billion to provide equity and technical assistance to foster growth in homeownership, business development, and critical community and technology infrastructure.

In addition, the Rural Development Economic Development Loan and Grant Program was set up to provide no-interest loans to rural development utility program borrowers who then lend the money to local entities to promote economic development and to create jobs. The program is now accepting applications to award $45.8 million in loans and grants to support rural communities. These applications are due by March 31, 2009 for 3rd quarter funding and June 30, 2009 for 4th quarter funding.

For more information, go to