HolstonConnect Winner of Connect America Funding to Provide Rural Broadband
2:42PM August 29, 2018
ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (August 29, 2018) – HolstonConnect, a wholly-owned, not-for-profit subsidiary of Holston Electric Cooperative, was announced among 33 cooperative recipients as winners of the Federal Communications Commission Connect American Fund II (CAF II) reverse auction on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. Winning electric cooperatives will collectively receive $220 million over ten years to help defray the costs of deploying broadband in unserved areas.
The CAF II auction marks the first time that the FCC allowed electric cooperatives to bid for funding as broadband service providers. HolstonConnect will receive approximately $53,000 for 10 years by meeting the requirements of the program. This money comes directly from the Universal Service Fund (USF) through telecommunications service providers, mostly through billing customers.
“Today’s auction results highlight the power of cooperative partnerships and collaboration as electric co-ops work to bring broadband to unserved communities in rural America,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. “We thank the FCC for allowing electric co-ops to participate in this auction, and look forward to building on this success moving forward. We are committed to continuing the rural broadband conversation and working with policymakers at the federal, state and local level on technology and funding solutions that will enrich the lives of rural American families and businesses.”
“We are excited to announce this achievement to our friends and neighbors. While building the advanced communication system to our entire service territory, HolstonConnect will continue to explore all possible resources for funding. Every dollar counts,” stated General Manager Jimmy Sandlin. “Capital provided through grants enables HolstonConnect to speed up construction and access to the rural residents of Holston Electric Cooperative. This is your community and your future, and your member-owned cooperative is working hard to provide you with the opportunities you deserve.”