STRATA Networks has been awarded a grant of $24.5 million from the second round of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect program. These funds will help deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to nearly 3,500 remote locations in the Uintah Basin.
The areas that will benefit from this program consist of locations that are receiving connection speeds of less than 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. A map of these specific areas that have been approved to receive fiber through this funding can be seen at stratanetworks.com/reconnect.
This grant is the second award STRATA has received through the USDA ReConnect program. The first was announced in February 2020 during Round 1 of the ReConnect program and included a $23.78 million loan-grant combination benefitting another 3,000 rural locations. Construction has not yet begun in the areas included in the first-round award, as STRATA is currently working through the required environmental processes to begin work. STRATA crews are ready to initiate construction as soon as the required approvals have been granted and funds have been released. The same environmental work will need to take place before construction begins in the Round 2 areas but once completed, construction for Round 2 areas can happen concurrently with Round 1 construction. The program requires that STRATA complete the buildout within five years of receiving the award.
“We are very excited and grateful to be selected to receive another award from the ReConnect program,” said Bruce Todd, STRATA Networks General Manager/CEO. “Rural locations can be very difficult to build to because of the immense costs required, but those who live in rural areas are in just as much, if not more, of a need of fiber infrastructure as those in more populated areas. This funding will help to solve that problem and give rural residents access to essential benefits that fiber internet provides.”
Once completed, these locations will join the more than 10,000 other locations across the Basin that are currently served with STRATA fiber and able to experience gigabit internet speeds. The funding from USDA will be used solely to deliver fiber to the more rural areas of the Uintah Basin that are reflected on the webpage listed above, but the company will continue working towards its goal of bringing fiber to an additional 1,000 locations each year outside of the ReConnect areas.
Those that do not yet have fiber internet but are interested in getting it to their location can register their address at connect.stratanetworks.com. STRATA is using the demand expressed through this platform to help guide decisions on where to build fiber in the future.
For more information on STRATA’s ReConnect projects, visit stratanetworks.com/reconnect.