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Published September 13 2010

$9 million in stimulus funding to improve broadband in region

The Red River Rural Telephone Association Inc. has been awarded more than

$9 million in federal stimulus funding to improve broadband access in the region.

The award, matched by a $1 million private contribution, will be used to install 690 route miles of fiber-optic cable to serve six rural exchanges in Ransom, Richland, and Sargent counties in North Dakota, Wilkin County in Minnesota, and Roberts and Marshall counties in South Dakota, according to a statement from USDA Rural Development.

About 2,600 people and 228 businesses stand to benefit, and the company estimates the project will create 110 jobs up front, the statement said.

“By investing in broadband infrastructure, we are able to build a strong foundation for economic growth making it more attractive to live and work in North Dakota,” USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider said.