Sunday, January 3, 2010

$183 Million to Expand Broadband

An initial amount of $183 million for 18 broadband projects benefiting 17 states with matching funds of over $46 million in public and private sector capital was announced by Vice President Biden. These awards were part of the $7.2 billion in Recovery Act broadband grant and loan programs to help the underserved and often hard hit communities.

The Department of Commerce awarded middle mile awards for $121.6 million to:

• North Georgia Network Cooperative ($33.5 million with an additional $8.8 million in matching funds)

• Maine’s Biddeford Internet Corp. ($25.4 million with an additional $6.4 million in matching funds),

• New York’s ION Hold Company ($39.7 million with $9.9 million in matching funds) to make broadband available to 250,000 households and 38,000 businesses

• South Dakota Network, LLC, ($20.6 million with $5.1 million in matching funds).

In the sustainable Broadband Adoption awards category, Washington State’s Inland Northwest Community Access Network received ($981.000 in grants with an additional $728,000 in matching funds). The plans are to increase broadband adoption through basic and advanced computer skill training as well as for community-based outreach campaigns to help vulnerable populations in Spokane.

The Department of Agriculture’s last mile and middle mile awards went to:

• Alaska’s Anchorage Rivada Sea Lion, LLC for ($25.3 million with $6.4 million of leveraged funds) to provide high speed broadband internet service to more than 9,000 unserved locations in Southwestern Alaska

• Hawaii’s Big Island Broadband/Aloha Broadband Inc. for ($106,503 for loans with matching funds of $87,405) to provide broadband services to serve the northern part of the islands

• Colorado and Nebraska’s Peetz Cooperative Telephone Company for ($1.5 million) to make broadband service available to 550 locations

• Michigan’s Chatham Telephone Company for ($8.6 million) to bring high speed DSL broadband service to remote areas

• New Hampshire’s Breton Woods Telephone Company for ($985,000) to bring 20 Mbps two-way broadband service to customers in more than 400 locations.

• New York’s Slic Network Solutions for ($4.3 million and a loan of $1.1 million) for a 136 mile fiber optic network

• Ohio’s Consolidated Electric Cooperative for ($1,034,413 and $1,399,499 in loans and matching funds of $1,225,000) for the North Central Ohio Rural Fiber Optic Network

• Oklahoma’s Pine Telephone Company for ($9.5 million grant with an additional $.4.6 million) to provide services to remote areas