May 23, 2011
F&B COMMUNICATIONS BROADBAND NETWORK PROJECT UNDERWAY
WHEATLAND (Iowa) Rural residents of Bennett, Delmar and Lowden are one step closer to having access to advanced broadband services thanks to a $1.6 million grant and $1.6 million loan awarded to F&B Communications, Inc., as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act broadband program.
An official groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday, May 20, northeast of Lowden to commemorate the beginning of construction on the network. In addition to F&B Communications staff and board members, State Representative Jeff Kaufmann and John Arthur, Area Director, USDA Rural Development, were in attendance.
The Recovery Act funding allows F&B Communications to construct a state-of-the-art fiber-to-the-home network that will permit rural customers in the Bennett, Delmar and Lowden telephone exchanges to receive advanced broadband services. In total, more than 220 miles of fiber optic cable will be buried in the three exchanges providing service to nearly 500 homes and businesses.
The network will allow F&B to bring these customers next-generation high-speed Internet, high-definition digital television and voice products, said Kenneth Laursen, general manager.
The general contractor, A&A Underground, started preliminary construction in rural Lowden in early May. Crews will eventually move on to the Bennett and then Delmar exchange areas. It is anticipated most, if not all, of the entire project will be completed by the end of 2012.
Subscribers slated for connection to the network will receive correspondence via U.S. Mail from F&B Communications as crews begin to reach their area. This information includes additional details on construction as well as a fiber optic drop acknowledgment form.
F&B Communications has a long standing tradition of providing our customers with new and innovative products and services, said Laursen. “With the broadband program we can continue that mission by offering these customers the latest services over a cutting-edge network.”
F&B Communications has provided competitive telephone and dial-up Internet services to rural residents of Bennett, Delmar and Lowden for nearly 10 years, but due to network limitations has been unable to offer high-speed broadband Internet to all of these subscribers.
United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Jan. 25, 2010, that F&B Communications was one of 14 companies in the first award cycle to receive a portion of $2.5 billion allocated to the United States Department of Agriculture in Recovery Act funds to help bring broadband services to rural unserved and underserved communities.
President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law on Feb. 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation’s economy. One goal of the Act includes measures to modernize our nation’s broadband infrastructure.
F&B Communications is the premiere local telecommunications provider offering telephone, long distance, digital video, dial-up Internet, high-speed DSL Internet, satellite Internet, wireless PCS and home security services to customers in the Bennett, Calamus, Delmar, Lowden and Wheatland exchanges and surrounding areas. The company was incorporated in the state of Iowa in 1907, initially serving customers in the Calamus and Wheatland exchange areas. Over the years the service area and product offering expanded. Computer sales and services are also provided through the Technology Solutions retail store.
To learn more about F&B Communications, visit http://www.fbc-tele.com.
For more information, contact:
Aaron Horman, Marketing
|GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY: (left to right) Patrick Ahrens, Technician; Roland Reiling, Director; Brad Carpenter, Technician; Jeff Kaufmann, State Representative; Kenneth Laursen, General Manager; Norman Bousselot; President; Charles Freese, Secretary/Treasurer; Dorothy Goettsch, Director; Ryan Vander Heiden, Director.