(WASHINGTON) – More than half the broadband projects supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rural broadband stimulus program and nearly two-thirds of the program’s loan and grant money were awarded to projects that involved building or expanding fiber to the premises networks, according to the Fiber to the Home Council North America.
In a final project list issued last week by the USDA on its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, the department’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) reported that its Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) awarded $3.5 billion in loans and grants to 297 broadband infrastructure projects to extend the benefits of broadband to rural communities.
The FTTH Council identified at least 156 of those projects, or 52.5 percent of the total, as involving fiber to the premise networks, with most of the remaining projects spread over wireless, coaxial cable or DSL solutions.
Additionally, the Council said that projects to build or expand FTTP networks received at least $2.33 billion, amounting to two-thirds of the total distributed in loans and grants under the BIP.
“Given the stimulus program’s goal of expanding access to networks that will serve rural America for many years to come, it is not surprising to see this level of reliance on fiber to the home solutions,” said Dan O’Connell, President of the FTTH Council. “This is an enormous vote of confidence in FTTH as the best way to fully ‘future-proof’ networks against ever-increasing bandwidth demands.”
The final project list and descriptions can be downloaded from the Broadband USA website.
About the Fiber-to-the-Home Council
Now in its tenth year, the Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council is a non-profit association consisting of companies and organizations that deliver video, Internet and/or voice services over high-bandwidth, next-generation, direct fiber optic connections – as well as those involved in planning and building FTTH networks. The Council works to create a cohesive group to share knowledge and build industry consensus on key issues surrounding fiber to the home. Its mission is to educate the public and government officials about FTTH solutions and to promote and accelerate deployment of fiber to the home and the resulting quality of life enhancements such networks make possible. The Council organizes North America’s largest annual FTTH event, the FTTH Conference & Expo, which will be held September 26 – 30, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. More information about the Council can be found at www.ftthcouncil.org.