GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) – A rural wireless provider filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection owes the federal government $73.5 million for a loan meant to bring utilities to rural areas.

The Denver Post reports Greenwood Village-based Open Range Communications in court filings blames its financial problems partly on “sporadic” funding from a $267 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan. The USDA gave the company the loan in January 2009 as part of its Rural Utility Service’s broadband loan program.

The paper reported that Open Range has laid off 126 of its 174 employees. The USDA says it will work with the department of justice to ensure the remaining balance is paid off.

The company lists $114 million in assets and $110 million in debts according to bankruptcy documents filed Thursday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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