The USDA RUS Reconnect grant and loan program helps to fund costs of construction or improvement of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband services to rural communities.  Polar Communications was awarded $21 million to bring its fiber network to homes and businesses in Walsh and Grand Forks counties in North Dakota. CNE is proud to work with Polar Communications in bringing broadband services to rural subscribers.

With construction commencing on June 2, 2020, in rural Grafton, our project with Polar Communications became the first USDA RUS Reconnect project in the nation to be under construction. This was an amazing achievement as this was the first project to begin out of 82 active awards, $744,303,168 in funding, and 34 total states and territories.

Considering the initial phase of the project consisted of 518 miles of construction serving 789 potential subscribers, this was no small feat.  The staff of both Polar and CNE were extremely dedicated to make this happen.  First notification of award occurred in early November of 2019 with project work starting in December.  Between then and the project bid date of February 26th, all of the following items needed to be completed:

  • Environmental Clearances from DC
  • Final Project Drive and Design
  • Staking
  • Mapping
  • Plans & Specs approval from DC
  • Pre-Bid Conference

When all said and done between both phases (2020 and 2021 construction), the project entailed constructing 925 miles of buried fiber construction serving 1,466 potential subscribers….all UNDER BUDGET!

 Let CNE’s team of experts get started on your broadband project today!