August 19, 2020
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in announcing a nearly $3 million investment to expand rural broadband in Cape Girardeau County. The funding was provided through the CARES Act, which included additional emergency funding for the ReConnect Program.
“From distance learning to telehealth to simply being able to check in on family and friends, the COVID-19 pandemic has added even greater urgency to the need for rural broadband,” said Blunt. “About a third of Missourians in rural areas don’t have access to reliable, high speed internet. Expanding access to broadband will be vital as families, farmers, and small business owners move from the rescue phase to the recovery phase of this pandemic. This investment will get us one step closer to ending the digital divide as we continue efforts to bring broadband to every corner of our state.”
The Blunt-backed CARES Act provided $100 million in emergency funding for the ReConnect Program to support the construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment needed to provide broadband service in eligible rural areas.
Blunt supported the creation of the ReConnect Pilot Program in the FY2018 government funding bill, and supported additional funding for the program in the FY2019 and FY2020 funding bills. Over the past two years, Missouri has received more than $100 million in funding through the ReConnect Program.
Additional information on today’s announcement is available here.