USDA Rural Development Gives Loan to Broadband in Utah

Pete CodellaBroadband

A Utah company will receive $16,687,000 in USDA Loans toward broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved areas.  

On November 6th, Anne Hazlett, the assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, announced that USDA will invest more than $200 million in infrastructure to help with specific projects to bring broadband to hundreds of underserved rural areas.  There will be 10 loans that will reach out to more than 71,000 residents and businesses in 74 rural counties in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Utah.

Beehive Telephone Company, Inc, a Utah based company, serves some of the most rural communities in the state by providing telecommunications to high-cost areas that would normally be unreached.  The company is receiving $16.6 million dollar loan in order to make system improvements in 11 of it’s 12 exchanges.  This will allow the company to enhance offerings, provide much faster broadband speeds, and allow for high quality video and voice services.  There will also be about 368 miles of fiber optics deployed to provide FTTP services in 7 of those exchanges.

These awards are financed through USDA’s Telecommunications program, The program has partnerships with more than 500 telecommunication providers throughout the nation.  USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help with the expansion of jobs, businesses and other economic opportunities in rural America ranging from public safety and health care to community service, homeownership and education.

Hazlett stated, “Broadband infrastructure is vital to our economic and quality of life in rural America.  Yet, today nearly 40 percent of rural residents and businesses lack access to the same quality service available in urban centers….USDA is working hard to bridge this gap.”