When the state of Idaho issued a $48.9 million grant that would eventually go to 102 broadband projects, how it played out was unique to every submarket. For example,
a nearly $1 million grant is expected to provide better internet access to some rural customers of Custer Telephone Cooperative in the towns of Carmen and Challis.
Working with the city of Challis to apply for and get the grant, Custer Telephone’s efforts paid off in the form of a $993,585 grant. The money will pay to extend fiber optic connections to 88 households on and around Challis Creek Road, according to the Challis Messenger.
“We had planned to do this project anyway,” General Manager JD Bennetts told the Messenger. The company had already laid fiber cables along Challis Creek Road and some side roads to serve 189 households in Carmen. The state received additional funds from the federal government, $548,000, under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The money was earmarked for projects “that support improved broadband infrastructure, equipment, and services,” according to a press release from Governor Brad Little.
The Idaho Department of Commerce said the project will help the Upper Carmen Public Charter School improve its distance learning capabilities with the school providing a $10,000 match, the Messenger reported.
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