Loan to Bring High-Speed Internet to Central Minnesota

Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 11:19 am

Washington DC – A federally-backed loan will help improve phone and Internet service in Central Minnesota. Today, Congressman Jim Oberstar announced that the U.S. Rural Development Administration (USRDA) has approved a loan of $22.2 million to the West Central Telephone Association.

West Central Telephone will use the funds to connect new subscribers, lay 44 miles of new phone and fiber optic cables, and purchase modern switching equipment that will improve the speed and efficiency of service to subscribers. The company serves homes and businesses in Becker, Otter Tail, Todd, Cass, Hubbard and Wadena counties.

“Investments in communications infrastructure help to create new jobs and build a strong economy; this is a long term investment in rural Minnesota,” said Oberstar.

High-speed fiber optic cable has already been installed in the towns of Sebeka and Menagha. The loan from the USRDA will allow West Central Telephone to expand fiber optic service to the rest of the customers on its system. “All of our customers have access to broadband Internet service, but this will ensure that the latest services and technology will be available to those who need them,” said Jennifer Grewe of West Central Telephone.

“Broadband Internet technology allows businesses in rural Minnesota to sell goods and services around the world,” said Oberstar. “Projects like this one ensure that the information super-highway runs through rural America and not just big cities.”

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