Copyright 2004 Dolan Media Newswires
The Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK)
May 5, 2004 Wednesday
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved $10.5 million in low-interest-rate loans to make broadband Internet access more available to rural Oklahomans.
These loans will be used to bring farmers, rural residents and businesses greater access to improved telecommunication technology, and are part of a major initiative to provide universal broadband access by 2007, said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.
Pioneer Long Distance of Kingfisher will receive loans of $5.3 million to deploy 21 new sites using unlicensed wireless spectrum and to provide wirelesses broadband access to 3,786 residential and business subscribers in Alva, Cherokee, Elk City, Fairview, Medford, Weatherford and Woodward.
Central Cellular of Davenport will receive loans of $5.1 million to connect 758 new access lines for voice services, provide 379 new subscribers with high-speed Internet access and provide 456 subscribers with video services. Central Cellular will also be able to purchase network and access equipment, install buried fiber-optic facilities and copper distribution plant, purchase customer premise equipment and make other system improvements.
“Rural America is currently lagging far behind urban areas in broadband internet access availability,” Inhofe said. “Oklahoma’s rural communities and business are important to our state and ensuring their opportunities for growth is a high priority.”
Funds for this program were authorized through the 2002 Farm Bill. More than $206 million in broadband loans have been approved in the program.