An electric co-op acquires a phone co-op as the missing puzzle piece for deploying broadband.
In latest round of USDA electric loans, 27 co-ops in 21 states receive funds.
Forked Deer EC says ReConnect grant will help deliver broadband to “forgotten America.”
The money will help co-ops build or improve power lines and finance smart grid technologies.
USDA loans will help 214,000 rural residents and businesses in 10 states.
The poorest co-op members often have the biggest bills because their old homes leak energy.
Laws in Alabama, North Carolina give electric co-ops legal certainty to enter the broadband space.
Latest RUS electric loans: $858 million, 17 co-ops, 450,000 residents and businesses, 17 states.
Latest RUS electric loans: $485 million, 10 co-ops, 77 million consumers, 12 states.