Dickinson-based broadband provider receives $13 million for additional high-speed internet access
DICKINSON, ND (KFYR) — More than $500 million in federal loans and grants are helping internet service providers expand access to rural homes and businesses. Of that amount, $46 million will go to suppliers in North Dakota, including one to Dickinson.
Consolidated has received nearly $14 million under the US Department of Agriculture’s “ReConnect” program. CEO Bryan Nobody said the investment will extend his fiber optic network to many rural businesses, farms and a school in Billings and Stark counties.
“It’s a part of our state that doesn’t have high-speed internet today, and most of us take that for granted. We are very happy to be able to bring this to them,” said Nobody.
No one said potential new customers had written letters of support to the USDA, saying they would have to travel miles to get internet access.
Other recipients of the ReConnect program include BEK, Griggs County Telephone and Halstad Telephone. They will provide access to rural communities in eastern North Dakota.
“We want rural communities and rural residents to be just as connected to friends, schools and customers if they have a small business,” said Erin Oban, USDA’s state director for rural development. .
Nobody adds that Consolidated will use federal programs to make sure its internet is affordable for customers.
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