USDA Rural Development Announces Recovery Act Broadband Award to Bring Jobs, Economic Opportunity to Western Colorado Communities
PAONIA, CO., Aug. 19, 2010 - USDA Rural Development Colorado State Director Jim Isgar joined TDS Telecom Field Services Manager Bill Long in Paonia today to announce the funding of a Recovery Act broadband infrastructure project in western Colorado. This project will create jobs and provide thousands of rural resident's access to improved service. Today's announcement is part of the second round of USDA broadband funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).
"The Obama Administration is committed to bringing broadband to rural communities so they can bolster existing infrastructure to help rural businesses grow," Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein said. "This project will improve the quality of life for rural residents while promoting job creation and sustainability in rural communities."
Delta Tele-Comm, Inc., dba as TDS Telecom, received a $1,826,979 Broadband Initiatives Program grant to extend high-speed DSL broadband service to unserved businesses and/or homes in Delta, Gunnison, Mesa and Montrose counties. "The Recovery Act funds awarded today will allow Delta Tele-Comm, Inc. to serve rural customers in sparsely populated areas within their current service area," Isgar said. "These areas would not have been economical to serve without this additional funding. The network is also engineered so that it can easily be upgraded at a reasonable cost to meet future needs."
A 2009 analysis by the National Economic Council concludes that 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. "The Delta Tele-Comm, Inc. project is expected to generate 48 jobs in the local community," Isgar said.
Recovery Act broadband projects help bring down the cost of private investment, attract Internet service providers to new areas, improve digital literacy among students and workers, and help create new opportunities in employment, education, and entrepreneurship by wiring homes and businesses. With new or increased broadband access, communities can compete on a level playing field to attract new businesses, schools can create distance learning opportunities, medical professionals can provide cost-efficient remote diagnoses and care, and business owners can expand the market for their products beyond their neighborhoods to better compete in the global economy.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation's economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The Act includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief and protect those in greatest need.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).