Austin, Texas, Jul 18, 2013 -- Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Administrator John Padalino today announced funding for three rural telecommunications companies that will expand and improve broadband service in rural Texas, North Dakota and Iowa. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today’s announcement is one part of USDA’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy. Padalino made the announcement while attending the annual National Rural Economic Developers Association meeting in Austin.
“These loans will provide these companies with telecommunications services that are essential to continued economic development in rural America,” Padalino said. “Broadband gives rural residents greater access to educational, health care, business and social services through the Internet, and it connects them to the global community. As part of the Obama Administration’s goal to improve rural infrastructure, we are proud to fund projects like these.”
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. Today’s broadband funding announcement will improve Internet services for 37,000 homes and businesses. It will provide more than $30.5 million to install fiber infrastructure upgrades to the existing networks to improve telecommunications services in these three states. USDA funding is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan agreement.
Specifically in Texas, the Ganado Telephone Company, Inc., in Ganado, Texas, will receive a $6,575,000 loan to complete a Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) system in the town of Ganado, replace outdated copper components within the system and make other system improvements. The fiber transmission upgrades will provide customers with increased Internet data speed.
“USDA Rural Development is pleased to offer this funding to Ganado Telephone Company,” said Paco Valentin, Rural Development Texas State Director. “This essential funding will help our rural communities keep pace with changing technology, and will provide access to modern communications systems that larger communities already have in place.”
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.