We learned yesterday that the United States Department of Agriculture granted nearly $6 million to expand fiber optic broadband in Grant and Wheeler Counties. The announcement was made at a meeting yesterday morning at the John Day Fire Hall by John E. Huffman, Oregon State Director of USDA Rural Development:
“This is an exciting day. We’re here to announce and help celebrate with OTC…the exciting news about having a successful, nearly $6m in a ReConnect Grant application.
This is a great day. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and one more project to help close that infamous digital divide that’s a real thing.”
Find an announcement from Congressman Walden on our website.
Phase One of the new expansion project will get kicked off here shortly, according to Dee Dee Kluser, General Manager at OTC:
“We’re going to go ahead and get started right away next year. And it will probably take a couple of years obviously to complete the entire route.
The first step of the project, we’re going to begin at Highway 395 North at the end of our current fiber route. We’re going to head to Fox, Long Creek, over to Monument, Kimberly, and eventually into Spray.
Most of this will be an aerial build, but there will be some sections of buried fiber along the way.”
Kluser said the next phase of the project will be an aerial fiber build from John Day out to Seneca. She added, “Without this grant, expanding into these areas just wouldn’t have been possible.”