Residents And Businesses To Get Internet Access With USDA Assistance

Monday, November 6, 2017

Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett Monday announced that USDA is investing more than $200 million in infrastructure projects to bring broadband to hundreds of unserved and underserved rural communities. 

“Broadband infrastructure is vital to our economy and quality of life in rural America," said Ms. Hazlett. "Yet, today nearly 40 percent of rural residents and businesses lack access to the same quality service available in urban centers. Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is working hard to bridge this gap.  From access to health care to workforce training and connection to global markets, broadband is truly a lifeline to prosperity in rural communities.” 

Two Tennessee companies were awarded grants to improve infrastructure in three rural counties and two telephone cooperatives received loans to provide broadband access to over 32,000 customers. Ben Lomand Communications, LLC, located in Warren County received a $1.5 million grant to construct state-of-the-art fiber to the premise facilities serving 179 customers in the Pocahontas community in Coffee County. And North Central Communications, Inc., with offices located in Macon and White Counties, was awarded a $2,836,187 grant to construct an FTTP system for 278 unserved households in Trousdale and Smith counties. Not only will over 450 households have access to the internet, a community center will be established where residents may have access to computer terminals and free internet for at least two years in the locations listed above. 

Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative Corporation in Bledsoe County and Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperative Corporation located in Jackson County are two telephone coops that received loans. Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative Corporation’s $7,885,000 loan will be used to provide broadband fiber service to nearly 2,000 subscribers in and around Dunlap and Pikeville. The upgrades will improve traffic routing, overall functionality and network security. Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperative Corporation’s $15,827,000 loan will be used to convert portions of a legacy copper network to an FTTP system and to deploy broadband infrastructure for further expansion. Approximately 590 miles of copper lines will be replaced with fiber, allowing Twin Lakes to provide nearly 30,000 customers with enhanced broadband and voice services. 

“We are extremely pleased with the grants and loans awarded to Tennessee companies today,” said Harriet Cannon, Tennessee acting state director. “The construction of FTTP systems, the establishment of community centers and the ability to provide broadband fiber to our rural communities are all game changers in the way business is conducted in these rural areas.” 

These awards are being financed through USDA’s Telecommunications Program, which has provided financial assistance to more than 500 telecommunications providers nationwide. USDA is announcing $207 million in loans and grants today. 

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; homeownership; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

 




New Hamilton County Businesses

Here are the new businesses from the County Clerk's office: ADVENTURE SPORTS INNOVATION LLC PATRICK J MOLLOY 1100 MARKET ST STE 600 CHATTANOOGA TN 374012 ALEX SCOTT ALEXANDER  SCOTT 810 FEDERAL ST B CHATTANOOGA TN 37405 ALLSTAR TECHNOLOGIES, LLC DANIEL  BASLER 4211 TENNESSEE AVE CHATTANOOGA TN 37409 AMP UP CONSULTING ... (click for more)

Gas Prices Rise .9 Cents In Chattanooga

Average retail gasoline prices in Chattanooga have risen 0.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.25 per gallon on Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 gas outlets in Chattanooga. This compares with the national average that has not moved in the last week to $2.53/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com. Including the change in gas prices ... (click for more)

Woman Who Took Truck Driver's Blood At Tragic Wreck Scene: "It Was Like Nothing Had Happened"

The woman who took a blood draw from a Kentucky truck driver who had just wrecked and claimed six lives said, "I was thrown by his demeanor. It was like nothing had happened." Lisa Martin told a jury from Nashville on Monday afternoon that Benjamin Scott Brewer kept asking when he could go home. Brewer was eventually allowed to leave, but was later charged and is facing trial ... (click for more)

Haslam Announces "Agressive, Comprehensive Plan" To End Tennessee's Opioid Epidemic

Joined by leadership from the House and Senate and Chief Justice Jeff Bivins, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Monday announced an aggressive and comprehensive plan to end the opioid epidemic in Tennessee by focusing on three major components: prevention, treatment and law enforcement. TN Together is a multi-faceted initiative that addresses the issue of opioid addiction through ... (click for more)

General Bell: This Government Shutdown Is Outrageous - And Response (2)

The day before yesterday two Army Apache Attack Helicopter pilots were killed in a crash during training at Fort Irwin, Ca.  The pilots and their unit were preparing for a future deployment to combat operations.    As a result of the government shutdown, none of the spouses or families of these pilots will receive a dime from the United States Government in immediate ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Making A Difference

It was about 50 years ago when the late writer Loren Eiseley penned an essay called “The Starfish Thrower” so it’s been one of my favorite stories for almost as long. It tells about a man who walks up to a young boy on a beach, this just after a strong storm had washed hundreds of helpless starfish onto the shore. The boy was picking up the stranded starfish and, one at a time, ... (click for more)