Remember the broadband stimulus project? Some governments dollars distributed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 are just now getting put to use.
Windstream, for example, is kicking off construction southeast of Ruidoso, N.M., in order to bring broadband to a sparsely populated and remote area where extending high-speed Internet service is cost prohibitive without a public-private partnership.
“This is an exciting day for Windstream and our customers in the Ruidoso area," said John Hanners, local manager for Windstream. “This project will expand our broadband network into unserved areas and make a high-speed Internet connection available to approximately 340 potential customers."
Nationally, Windstream says it was the largest single recipient of broadband stimulus grants awarded on a competitive basis by the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Rural Utilities Service. The company won grants totaling more than $181 million for projects in 13 states. The grants cover 75 percent of the cost of installing broadband. Windstream will invest the remaining 25 percent, a total of more than $60 million.
Windstream has now begun stimulus work in all 13 states where it has grants, and multiple projects are underway in most.