Federated seeks to expand its fiber cable in area

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Swift County is backing Federated Telephone’s application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would enable it to expand fiber optic cable to every home and business in the Benson telephone exchange area.
That exchange includes the cities of Benson, Swift Falls, DeGraff, and Clontarf, as well as the rural areas around those communities. However, the cities of Benson and Clontarf could be excluded as the FCC reviews the Federated application since both may be considered to already have a sufficient level of broadband service.
Federated came to the Swift County Board of Commissioners seeking its financial backing for its proposal, backing that could come in the form of $1 million over 10 years. The county would pay approximately $100,000 annually for 10 years, but then Federated would pay the money back over the following decade at zero percent interest.
At the county board’s meeting April 1, Federated’s General Manager Kevin Beyer told commissioners that it is estimated the total project would cost about $14.32 million. However, the company is hoping that 70 percent of the funding from the FCC, or $10.08 million, will come in the form of a grant. The other 30 percent, $4.32 million, would come as a low interest loan of to be repaid over 22 years.

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