October 27, 2022
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announcement that Missouri will receive more than $58 million through the ReConnect Pilot Program to expand rural broadband across the state. A large portion of this funding is from the Blunt-backed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
“This investment marks another important step toward ending the digital divide in our state,” said Blunt. “Nearly one-third of Missourians in rural areas do not have access to broadband. Closing this gap is vital to all Missourians, from farmers planning their crops to people seeing their health care providers through telehealth and students doing their homework. This investment will help boost economic growth and improve the quality of life in towns and cities across Missouri.”
As a member of both the Senate Commerce and Appropriations Committees, Blunt advocated for the ReConnect Pilot program to target federal investment toward areas that currently lack access to broadband, while preventing overbuilding existing infrastructure. With today’s announcement, the ReConnect Program has provided nearly $260 million in funding to Missouri since 2019.
In September 2022, USDA also announced an award of $2.2 million to Chariton Valley Telephone Corporation to deploy fiber internet to connect 642 people, eight businesses, and 94 farms in Monroe and Randolph Counties.
The IIJA, which was signed into law last November, included a total $65 billion to support broadband access nationwide.
Following are the details of the awardees announced today, according to USDA:
• The Grand River Mutual Telephone Corporation will use a $15.7 million ReConnect loan and grant combination to deploy a fiber-to-the-home network to connect 3,107 people, 521 farms, 59 businesses, and nine education facilities to high-speed internet in Daviess, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Livingston, Mercer, and Nodaway Counties.
• IAMO Telephone Company will use a $3.6 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 291 people, 57 farms, and six businesses to high-speed internet in Atchison and Nodaway Counties.
• Kingdom Telephone Company will use a $23 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network to connect 4,941 people, 611 farms, and 84 businesses to high-speed internet in Audrain, Boone, Callaway, and Montgomery Counties.
• Rock Port Telephone Company will use a $15.8 million ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-home network to connect 1,121 people, 297 farms, and 30 businesses to high-speed internet in Holt and Atchison Counties.