MINOT, ND, Jul 16, 2013 -- Jasper Schneider, USDA Rural Development state director, today announced that SRT Communications, Inc. in Minot will receive a $16.2 million loan to expand and improve broadband services in north central North Dakota.
“Broadband services are important for economic development and the social benefits,” said Schneider. “By partnering with SRT, rural residents will have greater access to educational, health care, business and social services through the Internet, while also connecting to global markets.
SRT Communications will use the USDA loan for upgrades to its Fiber-to-the-Premises infrastructure. The project will deliver higher-value services and enhanced broadband capability to their customers. In North Dakota, SRT is the largest telephone cooperative, serving 26 exchanges and almost 50,000 people in the Drift Prairie region.
USDA provides loan and grant financing to rural utilities for broadband, electric, telephone and water and waste disposal services to help them expand and modernize their technology. Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $361 million in North Dakota telecom and broadband projects.