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Texas rural broadband project gets $22.5 million loan

Coleman County Telephone Cooperative Inc. of Texas today received a $22.5 million infrastructure loan from the US Department of Agriculture. The loan is part of the Community Connect program, which provides grants to rural, economically challenged communities. 

More than $100 million in Community Connect funding was announced today.

"Without broadband, rural communities, agricultural producers, and business owners face a substantial challenge," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. "These loans and grants will bring the benefits of broadband, including new educational, business, and public health and safety opportunities, to residents living in some of the most remote parts of our Nation." 

Funds can be used to construct, acquire, or lease facilities to deploy broadband to community facilities such as schools and public safety buildings, as well as residents and businesses in the community, according to the USDA. Each project requires a matching contribution and must serve an area where broadband is not available. The grantee must agree to provide local community centers in the selected towns with at least 10 computers, which are accessible free for two years.

For more about the awards, see the release here.