Anchorage, Alaska, Oct 24, 2013 -- U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development (USDA-RD) Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund announced today that the Matanuska Telephone Association, Inc. (MTA) has been awarded a USDA-RD Rural Utilities Service grant of $2,941,246 to provide funding to construct fiber optic cables from MTA’s existing fiber cables out to existing copper and microwave fed equipment sites and add one new site.
The project will enable MTA to expand its current broadband service offerings in the communities of Glacier View and Chickaloon so that customers will have the ability to subscribe to service with speeds ranging from five Megabits per second (Mbps) to 10 Mbps.
"MTA is working closely with the Matanuska Susitna Borough School District to provide enhanced broadband service to the Glacier View School. The project will also fund the construction of a community center where all residents will have access to free service at the broadband grant speed of five Mbps (upload and download speeds combined) for at least two years," said Nordlund.
“For 60 years MTA has been providing state of the art communications for our members. This grant coupled with an approximate one million dollars in additional funds from MTA helps continue our commitment to provide enhanced broadband services to our most rural members,” CEO Greg Berberich said.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack noted that today's funding announcement is another reminder of the importance of USDA programs for rural America. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy – and he said that's just one reason why Congress must get a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.
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.
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