Federal Grant Expands High-Speed Broadband Connectivity

Pete CodellaNews, Broadband

A recent grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes it possible for workers to live and prosper in Utah’s rural communities.

STRATA Networks will use an $11.8 million ReConnect loan and an $11.8 million ReConnect grant to expand high-speed broadband connectivity within the Uintah Basin, including Ute Indian Tribe communities on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. This investment will build an all-fiber network that will serve more than 3,000 farms, businesses and homes spread over more than 400 square miles in rural Duchesne and Uintah counties. 

“Utah continues to be a leader in the nation getting broadband across the state,” says Ryan Starks, managing director for Business Services at the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “GOED recognizes broadband as an integral part of economic development, especially in rural counties. We congratulate Strata and thank them for their work to bring broadband to the Uintah Basin.”

This is one of many funding announcements in the first round of USDA’s ReConnect Pilot Program investments. The second round for the grant program is now open until March 16, 2020.

“High-speed broadband connectivity, or e-Connectivity, is essential to increase rural prosperity,” said Donald “DJ” LaVoy, U.S. Department of Agriculture deputy undersecretary for Rural Development. “It spurs economic development, creates better opportunities for education, increases access to high-quality and specialized health-care services and strengthens public safety and emergency services.”