USDA Rural Utilities Services (RUS) recently announced a $27.5 million grant award to Hayneville Telephone Company to provide broadband services to the majority of Lowndes County residents. Many locations currently lack sufficient access to broadband and HTC will make high speed internet affordable to 2,576 locations within the county. HTC will construct approximately 279 miles of fiber cable over approximately 216 square miles to offer broadband services up to 1 Gbps symmetrical via its Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP) network to the proposed funded service area. The project will improve the quality of life for these consumers by offering voice, broadband, enterprise solutions, security, and access to many other technology solutions.
Hayneville Telephone’s President and COO Evelyn Causey is thankful for the opportunity to help bridge the digital divide in their rural communities, “Everyone living and working in Lowndes County deserves access to fast, affordable, and reliable internet service. These funds present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fully connect Lowndes County with a reliable and affordable broadband network.”
The grant dollars will be directly invested over a 5-year period to bring high speed internet services to Lowndes County. “We expect initial construction to start later in 2023 and we will provide ongoing updates and information,” added Causey.
The ReConnect Loan and Grant Program furnishes loans and grants to provide funds for the costs of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
To-date, USDA has invested in 52 projects in the third round of the ReConnect Program. The investments represent $857,855,688 in grant and loan funding for high-speed internet.
Please visit www.usda/gov/reconnect to learn more about the Rural Development Broadband ReConnect Program.