Federal Broadband Grants Go to 4 U.S. Satellite Firms

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FISH CAMP, Calif. — Four satellite-broadband providers have been awarded a combined $100 million in U.S government grants to provide links to rural areas of the United States under the government’s broadband stimulus program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service announced Aug. 18.

Three of the four companies were awarded grants to provide two-way satellite broadband to specific regions. The fourth, Hughes Network Systems of Germantown, Md., was given more than half the grant total, $58.8 million, for use in nationwide rural-broadband projects.

Carlsbad, Calif.-based ViaSat Inc.’s WildBlue Communications consumer broadband subsidiary received $19.5 million in grants to extend the service to specific communities in the West and Midwest.

EchoStar XI Operating LLC, a division of EchoStar of Englewood, Colo., received about $14.2 million to provide satellite broadband in the East and Midwest.

Spacenet of McLean, Va., received $7.5 million for satellite broadband projects in Alaska and Hawaii.