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USDA Awards $8.6 Million Hi-Speed Internet Grant to Kalama Telephone Company in Cowlitz County

Philip Eggman
Release Date

Funding is Part of $759 million from Biden-Harris Administration to Bring High Speed Internet Access to Communities Across Rural America

 Olympia, WA - Oct. 27, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the award of a $8.6 million grant to Kalama Telephone Company to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 4,330 people, 61 businesses and 21 farms to high-speed internet in rural Cowlitz County.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award as part of $759 million to bring high-speed internet access to people living and working across 24 states.

“People living in rural towns across the nation need high-speed internet to run their businesses, go to school and connect with their loved ones,” Vilsack said. “USDA partners with small towns, local utilities and cooperatives, and private companies to increase access to high-speed internet so people in rural America have the opportunity to build brighter futures. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is committed to making sure that people, no matter where they live, have access to high-speed internet. That’s how you grow the economy – not just in rural communities, but across the nation.”

This investment comes from the third round of USDA's Broadband ReConnect Program. Kalama Telephone Company will make high-speed internet affordable by participating in the FCC's Affordable Connectivity and Lifeline programs.

“This funding is great news for rural Cowlitz County," said Helen Price Johnson, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Washington State. "We are proud to partner with Kalama Telephone Company to bring essential high-speed internet to the  businesses, residents, and public institutions here so they can be more competitive and prosperous."

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov/wa.