Custer Telephone Cooperative, Inc and its subsidiary, Custer Telephone Broadband Services, LLC (CusterTel) are pleased to announce the launch of a 3-year, multimillion-dollar broadband buildout initiative to deliver high-speed broadband access to more than 359 underserved and unserved locations and 2 community anchor institutions in the Salmon, Idaho area. CusterTel was awarded funds for this initiative from the competitive Idaho Capital Projects Fund (CPF) Broadband Infrastructure Grant program. CusterTel expects to invest approximately $5 million to support its buildout initiative – offset by $3.4 million in support from the grant.
The network CusterTel will build will allow 1 Gbps high–speed broadband access to all newly served locations enabling subscribers to engage in remote learning and work, telemedicine, entertainment, and other applications that require high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity. The build out area is north of Salmon along the Highway 93 corridor including Carmen and the Big Flat, and the Withington Creek area south of Baker. “We are excited about continuing our long-term commitment to building a fiber backbone in Lemhi County. This infrastructure expansion not only provides enhanced broadband services, but also improves the economy by using local contractors, increasing property values, and supporting entrepreneurship.” said JD Bennetts, CusterTel CEO. “The Idaho Office of Broadband is excited for the opportunities that this grant creates,” said Idaho Broadband Program Manager Ramón Hobdey-Sánchez. “This is not only wonderful for the local communities in the area, but also for the State as a whole as we work towards connecting all Idahoans.”
Established in 1955, CusterTel is a locally owned and operated telecommunications company with offices in Challis and Salmon. CusterTel provides state-of-the-art voice and wireless communications and broadband with speeds up to 1 Gbps to approximately 3600 customers across 1,043 square miles of Custer and Lemhi counties.