Qwest Communications has filed an application for a federal stimulus grant to extend broadband at speeds of 12-40 Mbps to rural communities throughout its local service region.
In its application, Qwest proposes to build facilities to serve more than half million homes, schools, businesses and hospitals that lack access to today’s high-speed Internet capabilities.
The total cost of the proposed deployment would be $467 million. Qwest is requesting a grant for $350 million from the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP), which is administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The balance, or $117 million, would be funded by Qwest.
The rural communities included in Qwest’s broadband application are located throughout its local service region, which is comprised of 14 midwestern and western states. The area features expansive terrain where the construction of broadband facilities is expensive and difficult, making the one-time federal funding necessary.
Earlier this week, several top cable MSO’s announced they, too, would seek stimulus funds via the auspices of a charity. (For more, click here).