PORTLAND, Oct 22, 2012 -- Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager recently announced funding to expand access to broadband and telecommunications services in rural America. The announcement includes a $2.8 million loan to Monitor Cooperative Telephone Company (MCTC) in Woodburn, Oregon.
"USDA and the Obama administration continue to work to ensure that rural residents have access to expanded educational, health care, business and social opportunities through robust broadband and telecommunication services, ” Tonsager said. “These funds will help modernize communications service and delivery for rural businesses and residential customers.”
MCTC is one of six telecommunications companies receiving loans to finance the improvement, expansion, construction, acquisition, and operation of telephone lines, facilities, or systems to furnish and improve telecommunications service in rural areas. The $2,865,000 loan will help MCTC complete the installation of fiber-to-premises facilities capable of high bandwidth broadband services. The project, which is expected to be complete by 2015, will provide the next generation of technology to approximately 600 rural residents and businesses in the cooperative’s service area.
“The ability to connect our members directly to fiber will provide enormous improvements in their bandwidth, allowing them to take full advantage of the latest innovations, technologies, and capabilities to connect in our global marketplace today and in the future. With the regulatory uncertainty that small, rural companies are faced with, Monitor Cooperative Telephone Company is fortunate to have received this level of support from USDA,” said MCTC General Manager Geri Fraijo.
Tonsager noted that in the recently completed fiscal year, USDA Rural Development funded over $170 million in rural telecommunications projects nationwide to expand rural access to educational, health care, business and social services.
With the current announcement, USDA Rural Development is funding 24 projects through several loan and grant programs administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS); Broadband, Telecommunications loans, the Community Connect grant program, and the Public Television Digital Transition grant.
Click here for a complete list of organizations that will receive funding, which is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement.
For other examples of USDA investments in rural communities, please visit Rural Development’s new interactive web map at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/RDSuccessStories.html. The map features program funding and success stories for fiscal years 2009-2011.
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $174 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).