Hill Country Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Hill Country) is proud to announce that they are the recipient of a $12.2 million Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) Grant/Loan.
Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) which was signed into law in February 2009, RUS and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced 43 awards totaling $518 million. These funds will be used for new broadband infrastructure projects in 27 states and Native American tribal areas. An additional $34.1 million in private investment will also be committed to these projects.
Intended to modernize our nation’s infrastructure so that our country can thrive in the 21st century, the Recovery Act investments in broadband are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs in the near term and expand economic development and job opportunities in communities that would otherwise be left behind in the new knowledge-based economy, providing a platform for rural economic growth for years to come.
The $12.2 million award will allow Hill Country to extend broadband service to remaining portions of its service area where broadband is currently unavailable with speeds of up to 20 Mbps over copper and up to 100 Mbps over fiber. Delbert Wilson, General Manager of Hill Country Telephone, stated, "We are excited about the new opportunities that the RUS BIP Grant will bring to the Hill Country Telephone service area and its subscribers. New construction via the grant will provide access to broadband for virtually 100 percent of the Cooperative’s service area. At Hill Country Telephone we believe broadband is the key to future rural economic development of our area."