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Federal grant to expand broadband access in rural Colorado

The $6 million grant benefits northwestern Colorado.

COLORADO, USA — Gov. Jared Polis' (D-Colorado) office said in a release Thursday that Yampa Valley Electric Association (YVEA) will be able to expand internet access to an additional 264 homes, farms and businesses located in Routt, Moffat and Eagle counties after receiving $6 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  

The release said the expansion in rural communities stays on-brand with Polis' Rural Economic Blueprint, which addresses concerns and challenges in rural communities by leveraging existing assets and building innovative programs. 

> The video above aired on Sept. 3, about how the state plans to address the digital divide.

"People need high-speed internet to be able to telecommute, access telemedicine, and enjoy modern entertainment at home, and now we can bring connectivity to more people across northwestern Colorado," Polis said. "Access to affordable, reliable, robust broadband service helps the economy grow in both rural and urban communities, and it's important to use every available resource to support infrastructure investment of this magnitude."

In addition to the $6 million from the USDA, YVEA will also match another $2 million bringing the total fund of the project investment to $8 million to deploy fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) for areas that lack broadband access. 

The federal ReConnect Program awarded Emery Telecommunications & Video Inc. a $6.3 million grant on Oct. 13. This provided FTTP network connection to 1,638 people, 91 farms, 52 businesses, three fire stations and two post offices in Dolores, San Miguel and Montezuma counties, the release said.

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