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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

 

$76 Million Being Invested By USDA For Rural Internet Connections…Some Of Which Include The Lake Region

All News RSS Feed Business Front Page News State News Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

A whopping $76 Million dollars are on their way to the Show Me State to help put faster internet into the rural communities, including parts of the Lake Region.

Officials with the USDA making the announcement on Monday in Columbia, saying that the ongoing goals are to continue improving access to high-speed internet for area farmers, small business owners and those in the rural parts of Missouri.

State officials say that money is being broken down into 3 groups, the Northeast Telephone Company & Mountain View Rural Fiber, as well as Aptitude Internet…who provides connections in nearby Maries, Gasconade, Osage and Phelps counties.

 

You can find out about the funds distribution and what it means for the state below:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and Missouri State Director Kyle Wilkens announced today $76 million in grants and loans to connect thousands of rural residents, farmers, and business owners across rural Missouri to affordable high-speed internet through the ReConnect Program, funded by President Biden’s Infrastructure Law. This funding opportunity is designed to fund high-speed internet projects in the most rural, remote, underserved, and unserved communities.

“I am excited to announce that Missouri is receiving nearly $76 million from the ReConnect program as part of President Biden’s Investing in America to rebuild the economy,” Wilkens said. “Access to high-speed internet is crucial to rural communities in Missouri. These projects will provide vital opportunities to bring local business to global markets, connect rural communities to healthcare without a long drive into the nearest city, and offers new tools for farmers and ranchers to expand their business. Finally, these projects are crucial for helping to bring our younger generations back home after college to continue the family legacy.”

Today’s investments will help to increase access and usage of broadband infrastructure in rural areas lead to growing jobs, population growth, and higher rates of new business opportunities for rural businesses, agricultural producers, digital skills, online education, and job search opportunities for rural residents. With the ReConnect program, many rural America will have the benefit of having high-speed internet.

Missouri’s three projects in this announcement include:

  • Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Company is receiving a $8.8 million grant to benefit 1,188 people, 15 businesses and 256 farms in Schuyler and Scotland counties in Missouri.
  • Mountain View Rural Fiber LLC is receiving a $24.8 million grant to benefit 5,519 people, 298 businesses, 46 farms and 29 educational facilities in Howell, Shannon, and Texas counties in Missouri.
  • Aptitude Internet LLC is receiving a $42.3 million loan to benefit 18,982 people, 480 businesses, 1,452 farms and 15 educational facilities in Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Maries, Osage and Phelps counties in Missouri.

Background: ReConnect Program  

Applicants to ReConnect Program funding must serve a rural area that lacks access to service at speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload. Applicants must also commit to building facilities capable of providing high-speed internet service with speeds of 100 Mbps (download and upload) to every location in the proposed service area. Additionally, to ensure that rural households that need internet service can afford it, all awardees will be required to apply to participate in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The ACP offers a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service to qualifying low-income households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal Lands.

For more information about, please visit: ReConnect Loan and Grant Program | USDA

Contact USDA Rural Development

Information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by visiting www.rd.usda.gov/mo, by calling (573) 876-0976, or by emailing RDMissouri@usda.gov. Stay current by following @RD_Missouri on Twitter.

USDA Rural Development has 25 offices across the state to serve the 2.2 million residents living in rural Missouri. Office locations include a state office in Columbia, along with local offices in Butler, Charleston, Chillicothe, Clinton, Dexter, Eldon, Farmington, Higginsville, Houston, Kennett, Kirksville, Maryville, Mexico, Moberly, Neosho, New London, Poplar Bluff, Richmond, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy, and West Plains.

If you’d like to subscribe to Missouri USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

All News RSS Feed Business Front Page News State News Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Reporter John Rogger