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DENVER - Qwest is applying for $350 million in federal stimulus money to help extend high-speed Internet service to rural parts of the 14 states where it offers local phone service.

In its application, Denver-based Qwest Communications International Inc. proposes building facilities to serve more than 500,000 homes, schools, businesses with download speeds of 12 to 40 megabits per second.

It expects the deployment would cost $467 million. Qwest is seeking stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service for 75 percent of those costs.

The federal stimulus bill included $7.2 billion in funding for expanding broadband.

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The Rural Utilities Service has indicated it plans to award grants by Sept. 30.

 

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