Press Releases

Roe Congratulates Sunset Communications for Receiving $24.5 Million Grant

Broadband Projects to Bring Jobs, Economic Opportunity to Hancock County

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Washington, September 14, 2010 | comments
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01) congratulated Sunset Communications on receiving a $24.5 million grant to build broadband infrastructure that will benefit multiple counties in Tennessee and Virginia, including Hancock County.

“I am please that Sunset Communications will receive this important funding,” said Roe. “New broadband infrastructure will provide the citizens of Hancock County with the tools they need in order to grow their economy,” Roe said. “This funding will help expand broadband infrastructure - ultimately providing a platform for economic growth and a gateway for businesses and key institutions – such as libraries, schools, public safety and community centers.”

“Broadband access is no longer optional,” said USDA Rural Development State Director Bobby M. Goode. “Education, healthcare and every kind of business depends on the Internet now days.

“Thanks to Congressman Roe’s longstanding support for rural communities, USDA has the financial resources to help Sunset Digital bring cutting edge technology and innovation to the people of Hancock and Claiborne,”
said Goode.

“I applaud Congressman Roe for seeing the tremendous benefit an investment of broadband can make in the counties he serves,” says Paul Elswick CEO of Sunset Digital Communications. “With access to high-speed Internet, a world of possibilities is opened up for those in Hancock county including citizens using the Internet to take online classes to further or start their education, citizens using the connection to work from home for another company, or the ability for them to start a home-based business. Broadband is also a deciding factor in businesses looking to locate in an area, and we foresee this installation of broadband being a driving factor for economic development for the area.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the funding of 43 new broadband infrastructure projects that will create jobs and provide rural residents in 27 states and Native American tribal areas access to improved Internet service.

USDA Rural Development invests in jobs, businesses, community infrastructure, homeownership and affordable rental housing in rural communities. Last year Rural Development assisted more than 864,000 Tennessee families and businesses with more than $655 million in financial assistance through affordable loans, loan guarantees and grants.

For more information on Rural Development programs available in northeast Tennessee contact the Rural Development Area Office in Greeneville at 423-638-4771 ext 4, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1490 or in Knoxville at 865-523-3338 ext 4, toll free at (800) 342-3149 ext. 1491or visit us online at

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of 6,100 employees located in 500 state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $142 billion in loans and loan guarantees.


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