USDA making loans for rural broadband

The Agriculture Department today announced plans to make available $190 million in loans for rural broadband and telecommunications projects in 19 states.

The Rural Broadband Access Program provides loans and loan guarantees for facilities and equipment for broadband services so rural businesses, farmers and ranchers can compete globally through better access to services via the Internet.

For example, telecom provider Nex-Tech Inc. of Lenora, Kan., will receive a $5.4 million loan to further expand broadband access to 1,400 new subscribers in its service area.

Of the $190 million, $150 million is funding made available through the 2002 Farm Bill. The remaining $40 million will come from Agriculture's Rural Development agency.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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