Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding for telephone utilities to build, expand and improve broadband in their rural service territories across 15 states.

For example, in Minnesota, Rural Development Broadband Loan Program funds will be used to extend Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative's existing Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) network to serve rural communities in North Central Minnesota. This project will offer advanced telecommunications services to over 45,710 households and businesses. Paul Bunyan has been operating since 1952 and has been a telecommunications borrower with the Rural Utilities Service since 1953.

In North Dakota, Rural Development funds will be used to expand Polar Communications Mutual Aid Corporation's Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband system throughout eighteen exchanges. The upgraded system will help meet current and future requirements for delivery of voice, video and high speed data to subscribers. Upon completion of this RUS-funded project, all of Polar's subscribers will be served with broadband via various technologies.

In Indiana, Perry-Spencer Rural Telephone Cooperative Inc., (PSC) provides telecommunications services to 5,711 subscribers over approximately 1,148 square miles. This loan will enable PSC to start the process of designing and building FTTP broadband services across its service area. This investment in broadband technology creates the potential for increased business growth, while providing improved telecommunications, entertainment services, educational services, healthcare, and public safety to rural communities in Indiana.

Click here for a complete list of loan recipients.