Farmers Mutual Telephone Company of Stanton receive $4.8 million Reconnect funds
Rural customers west of Clarinda, west of Bedford and west and north of Gravity are soon to be getting fiber internet service from Farmers Mutual Telephone Company’s Fiber-to-the-Home network.
The fiber link up will come after the company completes a project which has been funded by USDA’s ReConnect program, according to UDSA and FMTC officials.
FMTC CEO Kevin Cabbage said the project will bring ultra-fast, reliable and unlimited fiber internet service to 954 people, 115 farms and at least eight businesses in Page and Taylor counties after the more than 167 miles of fiber is buried.
“FMTC is pleased to receive a USDA ReConnect 50/50 Grant/Loan award of $4.8 million to bring service to customers in these areas who need it so badly,” said Cabbage. “We hope to start this project in late 2021 or spring of 2022, yet we’ve learned that with fiber projects many factors will impact the timeline. The program allows us five years to complete the project, but clearly we hope to do it quicker because we know customers are in need of great internet.”
Cabbage added a map shown at the on-line award presentation last week just shows the areas that were eligible to receive that ReConnect funding, and that FMTC will likely build to a few more locations in the region than are shown on the award maps. Cabbage explained that part of the planning involves making those decisions and then communicating with customers who can get service.
Cabbage believes rural Red Oak customers are certainly interested to learn the status of the project that will bring them fiber internet. In December of 2019, FMTC was awarded $6.45 million in the first round of the ReConnect awards. The pandemic had a big impact on USDA’s ability to allow FMTC to submit or approve paperwork, which slowed the project’s start.
According to Cabbage, all of the paperwork is in order now, and work was set to begin this fall on the building in Red Oak that will house the fiber equipment, but the date has changed on the project start. Plans call for fiber construction crews to start in May 2021.
“Let’s not forget that the reason for these projects is to deliver great internet to customers who don’t have it. That is what drives us – to help customers in our regional community get the ultra-fast Fiber Internet they need and deserve,” commented Cabbage.
FMTC’s Fiber Internet is reliable and capable of delivering ultra-fast Internet of up-to 1,000Mb (1Gig) to each customer.
Information about these projects or FMTC can be found on their website at myfmtc.com, under the “Fiber Projects” menu.