ACCOMACK, Va. (Delmarva Now) -- A company will receive a nearly $9 million loan from a federal agency to construct a wireless broadband internet system in Accomack and Northampton counties, as well as in Garrett County, Maryland.
Declarations Network Group (DNG) will offer data and Voice Over Internet Protocol Services, according to a new release from the USDA. The business' main office is in Vienna, Virginia.
DNG announced in April it had "completed a network design to provide the foundation for a broadband network deployment in targeted unserved areas in Northampton County and (was) now building out to Accomack County."
The loan is one portion of more than $14.7 million in infrastructure projects being invested in by the agency to bring broadband to Dickenson, Buchanan, Accomack and Northampton counties, according to an announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development office in Virginia.
In Buchanan, iGo Technology was awarded a $3 million grant to construct an FTTP system to serve 676 establishments in an unserved portion of the county.
In Dickenson County, Scott County Telephone Company was awarded a $3 million grant to construct an FTTP system with speeds up to 1 Gbps for 603 locations in the Big Ridge community and surrounding areas.
Additionally, a community center will be established in both counties where residents will have access to computer terminals and free internet for at least two years.
The Virginia awards were announced as part of an announcement Monday in West Virginia, where Anne Hazlett, assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, said the USDA will invest more that $200 million in projects to bring broadband to un- or underserved rural communities.
“Broadband infrastructure is vital to our economy and quality of life in rural America. Yet, today nearly 40 percent of rural residents and businesses lack access to the same quality service available in urban centers,” Hazlett said, adding, “Under Secretary Perdue’s leadership, USDA is working hard to bridge this gap. From access to health care to workforce training and connection to global markets, broadband is truly a lifeline to prosperity in rural communities.”
Hazlett announced grant awards in West Virginia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, in addition to loans which will provide new or better broadband access for more than 71,000 residents and businesses in 74 counties in rural parts of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The awards are financed through USDA’s Telecommunications Program.